TABAKALERA

(Cultural centre competition, 6th prize; San Sebastián; 2008; collaboration with Carlos Manzano)

The mammoth Tabakalera building in San Sebastián dates back to 1912 and with its 26.000m2 surface it is the largest building in this pretty Northern Spanish town. Now local, regional and national authorities have agreed to turn it into a multifunctional cultural centre (mediatek, new media art production, film centre, exhibition space, auditoriums, TV recording studios...).

The original structure of the building, with its four symmetrical courtyards was used as a base for the intervention. All patios have been covered but each one was given a specific character both programmatically and architecturally with distinct interventions: mediatec with mezzanines, public plaza with terraced levels, auditorium inside a floating box, open exhibition space.


The central axis of the building links the main entrance from the Egia neighbourhood and the future back access on first floor from the planned platform on top of the railway station. This internal street connects all main programmes and with its flow of visitors, users and citizens it has the potential of becoming an exciting and dynamic feature bringing life and activity to the heart of the Tabakalera centre.