Centro Botín

Renzo Piano Building Workshop as Architects

The CentroBotín, a space for art, culture and education, projecting into the Bay of Santander, will restore to the city the immensedockland site of the Albareda mole, used until now as a parking lot.This is a strategic area,overlooking the sea, near the old city centre and enhanced by the historic Jardines de Pereda.The centre was strongly supported by Emilio Botín (1934-2014), president of Banco Santander and financed by the Botín Foundation, one of the most important private foundations in Spain, established in 1964 with the aim of fostering the social, economic and cultural development of Cantabria. The project restores the ties between the historical part of the city and the sea. The freeway separating the park from the seahas now been rung undergroundthrough a tunnel, making it possible to double the area of the Jardines de Pereda, extending them to the seafront and restoring pedestrian access to the sea for Santander’s citizens.


Hemmed in between the park and the sea, and on the axis of the public market, the new CentroBotín ishalf based on the land and the other half suspended over the water on stilts. This avoids obstructing theview of the sea and the beautiful bay landscape forpeople strolling in the park, as the CentroBotín is cleverly maskedby the foliage of trees.Aseries of light walkways of steel and glass separate the two rounded volumes of the building and create a new square set above grade andfully public.Stairways and elevators then lead up tothe two blocks of the cultural centre.From here the “springboard”over the seaprojects twenty metres beyond the mole.


The two-lobed form of the CentroBotín is the outcome of a laborious progressive refinement of the design with the use of models. This gave rise to a rounded form that provides better illumination of the ground floor and accompaniesthe view of visitors and citizens looking out from the park to the sea. The two bodies that make up the building are completely faced with 280,000 small, slightly rounded ceramic tiles, pearl-coloured and vibrant, that reflect the sunlight, the sparkle of the water, and the rarefied atmosphere of Cantabria. The east volume houses an auditorium rising to double height and cantilevered over the sea, and to the north, the educational centre: spaces designed with the maximum flexibility to adaptto multiple activities.The auditoriumhas been conceived as a multifunctional box that can host concerts, readings, lectures, but also festivals and ceremonies, while the rooms of the education centre are designed to offer spaces of varying sizes to host future workshops of creative art, music, dance and cookery for both children and adults. In the west volumethe exhibition galleriesunfold on two levels, characterized by a spectacular double viewover the sea and the park. The exhibition space on the upper floor is illuminated zenithally by glass roofingconsisting of four layers: an outer level composed of small silkscreened glass slats which prevent stray light from entering the gallery space directly; a second layer of double glazing which seals the gallery; a third layer consisting of small aluminium louvers automatically controlled by a system of sensors that can be used to blackout the interior and makethe lighting flexible; and lastly, under the main beams, a semi-transparent white fabric that creates a uniform space and diffuses the light while revealing the complex structure of the roof.


An amphitheatrehewn out of the park runs alongside the CentroBotín, its west façade equipped with a LED screen for screenings and outdoor cinema. On the ground floor a fully transparent façade encloses a multifunctional space animated by a café, restaurant, commercial space and the information centre.Here the ceiling is covered with ceramic and the floor is a continuation of the external blueconcretepaving. In this way, the inner and outer space are almost indistinguishable and visitorsand citizens can see the sea and landscape of the bay framed by the broad eaves of the building which shelter the tablesoutside, creating a space for gathering and socializing. Building, park and city are clasped in an intimate bond.

Botín Art Centre

Luis Vidal + Architects (LVA) as Architects

A new space for art and culture. An open and tolerant centre


Santander conceives culture as one of the strategic keys in the development of the city. Thus, the Botin Arte Centre is conceived as a new space for art and culture will enhance and become the standard of this rich cultural life. An open and tolerant centre which will perform the function of enriching, social and culturally, the public space of Santander, generating a dialogue with the city and the Cantabric Sea.


Located in the very city centre, the project is organized around three main movements:


The first entails to free this current port area destined for a car park and to eliminate the road traffic, which isolated the plot, by building a tunnel.


The second consists of the enlargement of the centenarian Pereda Garden, doubling its area and extending it up to the very shore of the bay. This action favours the visual continuity between the city centre and the port.


Finally, the third movement is to “land” this art centre on the dock, projecting above the water, as a small ship. A space destined for art, music, literature and cultural exchange.


Under the greyish skies of Santander, the building and its light coloured ceramic tiling skin, the reflected light and the lightness of the projecting volumes, bring vitality to the landscape, creating a brand new range of sceneries around the bay of Santander.


Botín Art Center in Santander will be a new space for art and culture that will encourage the visitor to enjoy the vast proposals of creativity that the city has to offer: exhibitions, concerts, theater, book presentations,

The Centro Botín Art and Culture Gallery

iGuzzini as Manufacturers

The Centro Botín, a space dedicated to art, culture and the various activities of the Botín Foundation, was officially opened in June 2017. The gallery is an important new cultural centre for Northern Spain, and as Íñigo Sáenz de Miera, Head of the Botín Foundation stated, «it will be a major force in generating economic, social and cultural value for the entire Cantabria region».

Built on what was previously a car park in the Pereda Gardens on the Santander seafront, the structure restores the town's close relationship with the Atlantic Ocean.  The first part of the project involved road access and the general restoration of the surrounding waterfront park named after the Spanish novelist José Maria de Pereda. Designed by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop and the Fernando Caruncho & Asociados studio, this project doubled the park area to 48,000 square metres by moving the noisy coastal road underground and thereby safeguarding the park's hallmark monuments, like the Meones fountain and the monuments  to Pereda and Victor de la Serna. UFO pole-top luminaires fitted with Opti Comfort optics were installed to create even, homogeneous lighting with high colour rendering for the various pathways. These optics create perfect semi-cylindrical lighting that makes people more recognisable and generates a general sensation of well-being and safety. In the key areas of the park, the light from these UFO luminaires is also combined with accent lighting effects produced by iPro floodlights mounted on MultiPro pole systems.

The actual Centro Botín complex is located inside this park, directly overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It has a total surface area of over 6,800 m2 (of which over 2,400 m2 is exhibition space) , divided between two rounded, hull-like forms raised up on slender pillars. These wings are connected by a series of light, steel and glass staircases and gantries that combine to create a structure that seems to reach out over the sea. In the East Wing there is a 300 seat auditorium, lit by recessed Reflex luminaires , and an educational area. In the West Wing the exhibition galleries are located on two floors, both lit from above by a roof made of laminated glass, aluminium and white canvas. At night the artificial interior lighting filters outwards through the glass sections to transform the building into a lantern that reveals the complexity of Piano's design. The exhibition areas, which require high precision and adaptable illumination, have been lit with Palco spotlights, installed on tracks recessed in the ceiling. The result is a pure, sharp, linear, white environment with evenly lit vertical walls. For the entrance hall, restaurant area and bookshop, pendant Le Perroquet spotlights have been installed and are used with a combination of direct emission for general lighting and indirect emission that creates circular effects on the ceiling. The ceiling is particularly distinctive as is covered with the same rounded pearlescent ceramic discs that cover the outside of the building. During the day, this shell of iridescent scales captures the reflections of the ocean and brings joy and light to the often grey and cloudy Santander atmosphere. At night, the same effect is created by iPro spotlights mounted on Multipro poles that illuminate the vertical thrust of these disc walls specifically designed by Renzo Piano himself. Ledplus luminaires fitted with an elliptical light flow distribution refractor have also been ground-installed and point upwards  to illuminate the lower parts of the two wings as evenly as possible, making them look as if they are flying on a glowing halo of light.

Pritzker Prize winner selects Mermet fabrics again

MERMET S.A.S. as Manufacturers

To pay homage to a spectacular vista on the Atlantic Ocean waterfront, architects Renzo Piano worked closely with Madrid agency Luis Vidal + Architects. Here they focused on natural lighting and a lightweight structure, which required that solar shading be integrated in the actual building design. To protect the artwork collections and ensure optimal visual and thermal comfort for visitors throughout the year, an ingenious combination of Mermet fabrics Satine 5500, SV 10% and Karellis 11301 was developed.

When light and transparency cohabit
For the architects, several points were essential:
• allow as much natural light in as possible while limiting glare,
• ensure seamless transparency, both inwards and outwards, to enjoy this remarkable construction that offers magnificent visual links with the water of the bay and the surrounding park,
• protect art installations while ensuring visitors enjoy optimal thermal comfort.

Developed and installed by blind maker Resstende s.r.l, the solution to meet all these requirements involved overlaying three Mermet fabrics up to 8 m high (a total of 300 blinds):
• a tall external blind (1.20 x 7.90 m) to control light and heat: the Satine 5500 fabric 0201 White Grey filters 94% of solar radiation to deliver thermal comfort while preventing glare and blocking UV radiation to protect exhibited works,
• two internal fabrics complete the solar shading:
- to darken and block out sun rays, zip internal blinds measuring 0.8 x 7.90 m and using Karellis 11301 thin and lightweight fabric 608 Chartreux, serve to regulate light and provide full blackout capability,
- to enhance the light levels in open spaces, the SV 10% fabric 0102 Grey White was selected for use on 0.80 x 4 m roller blinds due to its light diffusion capabilities and transparency.

Excellent fabrics for an excellent project
Due to their composition, Mermet fabrics are especially well-suited to the new norms of contemporary architecture, especially large glass façades like those on the Centro Botín. The fabrics stand out through:
- their excellent mechanical strength for tensioning,
- their M1 (French) and BS fire ratings which satisfy the requirements for public-access buildings,
- their excellent dimensional stability, which is all the more important for tall window walls,
- their remarkable durability, as demonstrated by the 10,000 cycle mechanical endurance test.

Satine 5500 is the ally of the façade as it provides:
- unrivalled heat protection: up to 96 % of solar radiation is eliminated in external applications (gtot 0.04 where reference glass g = 0.32 and U = 1.1)
- high-quality transparency with clear outward vision,
- ideal visual comfort with excellent glare control due to the diagonal weave of the satin fabric, while optimising the influx of natural light: up to 96% of light rays are filtered (Tv: 4 %)

SV 10%, for optimal transparency and influx of natural light
This open-basket weave design blends visual comfort and transparency to optimise the natural lighting level. It blocks out up to 90% of UV rays and eliminates up to 85% of solar radiation. 12 colours are available in 3 widths: 200, 250 and
320 cm.

The Centro Botín project is substantial and offers Mermet the opportunity to once again demonstrate its unrivalled know-how in terms of solar shading. With fabrics that ensure excellent thermal and optical performance, and which meet all requirements even in a marine environment, the French company can be proud of another successful prestigious international project.

This story is available in multiple languages
Share or Add The Botín Centre to your Collections
Project team
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct link
ManufacturersiGuzziniLe Perroquet
ManufacturersMERMET S.A.S.KARELLIS 11301, Satiné 5500
ManufacturersOctatube
Product Spec Sheet
Manufacturers
Manufacturers
Mary Idema Pew Library
next project

Mary Idema Pew Library

Libraries
Allendale Charter Township, United States - Build completed in 2013
View Project