Here’s why you must visit this new art centre the next time you travel to Spain | travel | Hindustan Times
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Here’s why you must visit this new art centre the next time you travel to Spain

Centro Botín, the newly-opened centre for contemporary art in Santander, Spain, is a stunning architectural feat and has been designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano.

travel Updated: Jun 23, 2017 10:03 IST
The façade is covered with 2,80,000 rounded, pearly coloured ceramic tiles that reflect the changing colours of the sea and the sky.
The façade is covered with 2,80,000 rounded, pearly coloured ceramic tiles that reflect the changing colours of the sea and the sky.(Fundación Botín/Gerardo Vela)

Imagine being inside a stunning architectural marvel where you could view contemporary art along with spectacular views of the sea and surrounding greenery. That’s not all. It is also a place where you can shop, eat, watch films, attend a concert, take music or cookery lessons, and do more.

So, the next time you’re in Santander, Spain, don’t miss out on a new centre for contemporary art – the newly opened Centro Botín. It has been designed as a permanent home for the art, cultural and educational programmes of Fundación Botín, a private Spanish philanthropic organisation founded in 1964.

Italian architect Renzo Piano, who designed the Centre Georges Pompidou art museum in Paris, has designed Centro Botín, which will showcase the foundation’s permanent collection, as well as temporary exhibitions.

The west section is dedicated to art, with exhibition galleries on two levels, offering spectacular views over the sea and the surrounding gardens. (Fundación Botín/Gerardo Vela)

Situated on Santander’s waterfront, on the site of a former parking lot, the centre is right next to Santander old town and is set in the historic Pereda Gardens. The building is raised above ground and comprises two smoothly rounded blocks, rising 20 metres above the sea, which are linked by steel and glass walkways. The façade is covered with 2,80,000 rounded, pearly coloured ceramic tiles that reflect the changing colours of the sea and the sky.

The east section is for educational and cultural activities, with an auditorium for concerts, lectures and conferences. (Fundación Botín/Gerardo Vela)

The west section is dedicated to art, with exhibition galleries on two levels, offering spectacular views over the sea and the surrounding gardens. On the outside, small slats of silk-screened glass prevent light from entering the gallery space. This section is also home to a restaurant, stores and leisure areas.

The east section is for educational and cultural activities, with an auditorium for concerts, lectures and conferences. The north part has spaces for holding classes, art workshops, music lessons, dance lessons and cookery workshops for children, teens, families and adults.

On the outside, visitors can enjoy a new amphitheater and screen, which will be used for open-air film screenings.

Renzo Piano was born in Genoa, Italy, in 1937, and lives in Paris, France. He has won several prestigious prizes for his work, including the RIBA Royal Gold Medal for Architecture in 1989, the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1998 and the AIA Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects in 2008.

His standout projects include the renovation and expansion of the Fogg Museum in Cambridge (Massachusetts, USA), the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (USA) and the London Bridge Tower in London (UK), among others.

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