City of Culture of Galicia Santiago de Compostela, Spanish Building, Photo, Design, Image
City of Culture of Galicia, Spain, Europe
Cidade da Cultura de Galicia Santiago de Compostela – design by Eisenman Architects
10 Mar 2011
Cidade da Cultura de Galicia Santiago de Compostela
City of Culture of Galicia
Santiago de Compostela, Spain
1999 – ongoing
Design: Eisenman Architects
The City of Culture is a new cultural center for the Province of Galicia in northwestern Spain. Its design evolves from the superposition of three sets of information. First, the street plan of the medieval center of Santiago is overlaid on a topographic map of the hillside site (which overlooks the city). Second, a modern Cartesian grid is laid over these medieval routes. Third, through computer modeling software, the topography of the hillside is allowed to distort the two flat geometries, thus generating a topological surface that repositions old and new in a simultaneous matrix never before seen.
The original center of Santiago conforms to a figure/ground urbanism in which buildings are figural, or solid, and the streets are residual, or void spaces. Through this mapping operation, our project emerges as a curving surface that is neither figure nor ground but both a figured ground and a figured figure that supercede the figure-ground urbanism of the old city. Santiago’s medieval past appears not as a form of representational nostalgia but as a new yet somehow familiar presence found in a new form.
The six buildings of the project are conceived as three pairs: the Museum of Galicia and the International Art Center; the Center for Music and Performing Arts and the Central Services building; and the Library of Galicia and Galician Archives. Visitor’s experiences of any given building will be affected by its relationship to its immediate partner. The caminos, or pedestrian streets, that wind between the buildings also open onto a public square, which is bordered by the six buildings and features landscape and water elements.
The largest building is the Performing Arts Theater, which stands 42.5 meters high and contains all of the spaces and technologies required to host the international opera and symphonic music circuit. There are two auditoria: a large theater of more than 1,500 seats that can be adjusted for opera, ballet, and concert performances, and a 450-seat theater that can be used for chamber music and recitals, dance and drama performances, conventions and colloquiums. A multi-tiered lobby allows access from below-grade parking and from the pedestrian camino to a four-level theater arrayed in a classic horseshoe shape. The heights of all of the buildings rise in gentle curves that seem to reconstruct the shape of the hilltop with their collective rooflines.
Cultura de Galicia – Major Components
The Galician Museum (172,000 square feet)
International Art Center (135,000 square feet)
The Center for Music and Performing Arts (220,000 square feet)
Library of Galicia (122,000 square feet)
Galician Archives (86,000 square feet)
Central Services and Administration (50,000 square feet)
Cidade da Cultura de Galicia Santiago de Compostela – Awards
Eighth and Ninth International Exhibitions of Architecture, Venice Biennale, 2002 & 2004
Progressive Architecture, Architectural Design Award, 2003
First prize, Invited International Design Competition, 1999
Cidade da Cultura de Galicia – Building Information
Size: one million sqft
Total area: 173 acres
Surrounding the built area of the CCG is the Arboretum of Galicia: an area of gardens and native woodland, conceived as both a recreational and an educational facility.
City of Culture of Galicia Santiago de Compostela images / information from Eisenman Architects
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