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LEGEND 1. Science museum. Acebo&Alonso. 2008 2. Galicia Goverment office building. Bonell&Gill. 2003. 3. Summer House. David Chipperfield. 2001. 4. Fine Arts museum. Manuel Gallego. 1998. 5. Foundation Caixa Galicia. Nicholas Grimshaw. 2000. 6. COAG Vigo. Irisarri&Pi単era. 2010. 7. Museum of Manking. Arata Isozaki. 1994. 8. University campus Vigo. Enric miralles. 1999. 9. Finisterre Cementery. Cesar Portela. 2002. 10. Sea Museum. Aldo Rosi. 2002. 11. Dominguez House. Alejandro de la Sota. 1976. 12. Harbour Master Plan Vigo. Vazquez Consuegra. 2004. | COMPOSTELA SUMMER PROGRAM | WWW.CAINSTITUTE.ES |


ACEBO & ALONSO Victoria Acebo and Angel Alonso both graduated from the University of Madrid in 1995 and are currently professors at the European University of Madrid. Their firm has received the following awards: First Prize, Cu単a Verde, Palma de Mallorca, 2002. First Prize for their Science Museum in A Coru単a, 2001. First Prize for their Exhibition Hall in Palma de Mallorca, 2000. First Prize, Association of Architects of Castilla Le坦n, 2000. Their Works has been exhibited in Tokio Desing Week 2007, Urban Planning Exhibition Center at Shangai 2008, in the MoMA at New York 2006 and in the VIII,X Bienales de Venecia.

Science Museum Acebo & Alonso Location: A Coru単a Date: 2008


The Science Museum of A Coru単a was designed by the firm Acebo y Alonso, selected as some of the most promising Spanish architects under 40 years old. Under its simple and even anodyne appearance, the building is actually a bold experiment, combining in the same container two different functions: a conservatory and a science museum. A glass skin covers the conservatory and surrounds the concrete skeleton that houses the museum. The project was originally designed as an arts center to house a dance school and the state art museum in Coru単a. The programmatic distribution is arranged in a branching organization system so that the two functions do not overlap. The vertical circulation system has been also designed in such a way so that each program can function completely independently. The building itself, a big glass cube near the coast, tries to relate in scale to the Museum of Mankind by Arata Isozaki and also to the Hercules Tower, the most significant monument in Coru単a, originally a Roman lighthouse.


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Esteve BONELL & Josep M. GIL Esteve Bonell was born in Banyoles, Barcelona in 1942 and has been a licensed architect since 1971. Bonell initially started his studio with Francesc Rius. Later they were joined by Josep María Gil, and it is with Gil that Bonell has made most of his architecture projects. Bonell’s major projects are the Justice Hall in Girona, the Olympic Stadium in Badalona, the Cultural and Sports Center in Viladecans, and the Galician Administrative Offices in Vigo. Their firm has received the following awards: First Prize, European Contemporary Architecture Award,1992. First Prize, Foment de les Arts Decoratives, 1984. First Prize, Foment de les Arts Decoratives, 1975.

Galicia Government Office Building Bonell & Gil Location: Plaza Estrela. Vigo Date: 2003


The Galician government office building designed by Bonell and Gil is part of a larger plan to “open Vigo to the sea.” The goal of this very ambitious urban planning project is to open the urban fabric to the harbor in one of the few flat areas of the city, so that the new public open space created in the old city catalyzes new urban activity. The congruity of the building with the nearby Plaza de Vazquez Consuegra is a pleasant surprise. The formal articulation and exquisite materials are deployed with utmost precision, mixing gray granite from the Extremadura region with that of Galicia. The building perches on a platform under which parking is located. The building’s components are a tower block and a portal to the dock area.


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David CHIPPERFIELD David Chipperfield was born in 1953 and studied at the Kingston School of Art and the Architectural Association in London. After graduating from the AA he worked at the offices of Douglas Stephen, Richard Rogers, and Norman Foster. Chipperfield has been awarded the Tessenow Gold Medal and in 2000 he was one of the architects that represented Britain at the Venice Architecture Biennale. He was made Honorary Member of the Florence Academy of Art and Design in 2003, and in 2004 was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to architecture. Chipperfield has taught architecture in Europe and the United States and has lectured extensively on his architecture practice. He also held the Mies van der Rohe Chair at the Escola Tècnica, in Barcelona. Major architecture projects include the award-winning River and Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames, although many of his buildings are outside of England, where he lives, Japan and Germany.

Summer House David Chipperfield Location: Corrubedo, CoruĂąa Date: 2001


The sea became the major inspiration for this project, as it is the focus of the family’s summer vacation. The house is sandwiched between traditional Galician houses and bordered by a small beach on one side and the town’s main street on the other. It opens toward the harbor on the beach side in order to best take advantage of its seaside location, and it is closed off on the street side to maintain the privacy of its inhabitants. This is the reverse of the orientation of neighboring houses, which all turn away from the sea and open to the street. The house has four levels. The lowest one is connected to the beach with a ramp and is below street level; the children’s bedrooms, resembling ship cabins, are located here. The next level above accommodates a kitchen and dining area and it is where the family entertains; a glass wall along the entire width of the house affords spectacular views of the bay. The third level has additional bedrooms and the fourth and top level includes a terrace which, protected by the adjacent study, protrudes towards the Atlantic Ocean as if pining to be part of the sea. Once on the terrace, any enclosure that might have blocked a direct connection to the sea is now gone and the family barbeques here as if on the deck of a ship. The house engages not just the sea, but the very neighboring houses which themselves had turned away from their own seaside context. It aligns with and responds to the massing, materials, and colors of the Corrubedo façades, but not by simply repeating local geometries. Rather, the house manages to integrate irregular lines that one might think of as conversant with both the ever changing surface of the water and the irregularities of the surrounding vernacular architecture. It is a project best described as being “a part of and yet apart from” its environment, a statement that also describes how the English architect and his family see themselves in Corrubedo.


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Manuel GALLEGO Manuel Gallego was born in Carballiño, Ourense, in 1936. He graduated in Architectural Studies from the Universidad Politécnica in Madrid in 1963 and has been a professor at the Universidad Politécnica in A Coruña since 1978. He also continues to work in his architecture studio in A Coruña. He has received several awards and honorable mentions, the most important of which being the National Architecture Award in 1997. His work is known for achieving continuity with the surrounding environment and for being based in a kind of persistent introspection that brings together contemporary concerns of the project at hand and a personal contemplation of the discipline of architecture. His work has a place of honor in Spain’s cultural landscape, and the academic referencing in much of his work makes his one of the most vital critical practices in Galicia.

Fine Arts Museum Manuel Gallego Jorreto Location: Coruna Date: 1998


The building is organized around a bright central atrium, flooded with light from a large skylight, and conceived as an extension of the street into the building. Entry into the building takes the visitor first through a large colonnade and then through a compressed threshold that emphasizes the long axis of the atrium lobby by framing a small interior court at the other side of the building. The lobby is conceived as the museums integration element--both the temporary exhibition galleries and the auditorium open onto it. A slight bridge connects the exhibition rooms showing the museum’s permanent collection of paintings and sculpture to the museum wing that houses the ceramics and engraving collections and which was formerly a convent (the interior court mentioned above was once used as a garden by the nuns residing there).


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Nicholas GRIMSHAW Nicholas Grimshaw as born in Hove, England, in 1939. He studied at the Edinburgh College of Art from 1962 to 1965 and trained at the Architectural Association, which he attended after winning a scholarship awarded by ARCUK (Architects’ Registration of the United Kingdom). At the Architectural Association he won additional scholarships that permitted him to travel to Sweden in 1963, and the United States in 1964. In 1965 he obtained an honors diploma in Architecture and won a bronze medal awarded by the French Société d’Architectes Diplomés par le Gouvernement (SADG), for one of the three best theses discussed at the Architectural Association. He became a member of RIBA in 1967 and was elected Vice-Chairman of the Architectural Association in 1994. He is a member of the Royal Academy and of the American Institute of Architects.

Foundation Caixa Galicia Nicholas Grimshaw Location: Coruña Date: 2000


Caixa Galicia, one of the major financial institutions in Galicia, built this project to house exhibitions and promote Galician culture. It was the first time Grimshaw designed a building with art and media exhibition spaces. The client also sought to give the city of A Coruña a civic building that would be inalienably connected to the street, one that would extend the public realm of the city’s vibrant sidewalks into the ground floor of the building. To this end, the ground level opens to streets on two opposite sides and houses an cafe with internet access, a small bookstore, and seating areas in interior courts. Most remarkable as one approaches the building are the glass elevators running along the inclined plane of the building’s façade. These travel the height of the building and also plunge below street level to provide access to the temporary exhibition space and auditorium there. Permanent exhibition galleries are on the upper floors. The client also wanted part of the building to be for the exclusive use of the institution, and so the fifth and sixth floors are not accessible to the public. The building is located in a constrained site in a historic quarter of the city, and it fills the last ‘gap’ on a street of glazed “galerias,” the sunroom enclosures that have become emblematic of Coruña’s old city center. The design of the building takes into account the distinctive architecture of its neighbors by conforming to height restrictions and by aligning with adjacent façades. The design also resolves scale shifts between the soaring height of the building facing the ocean and the low-lying administrative building to which it connects at the rear. The solution that emerged was a tilted paraboloid, best understood in its longitudinal section, and which provides a smooth gradation between both scales. The building is a provocative contribution to the ongoing dialogue in the discipline of architecture between the old city and the contemporary projects that intervene within it.


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IRISARRI & PIÑERA Jesús Irisarri and Guadalupe Piñeira were born in Galicia and studied architecture at the University of Madrid. They have an architecture firm in VIgo and teach in the School of Architecture in A Coruña. They have lectured at universities in Navarra, Sevilla, Madrid, Santo Domingo and Quito, as well as at the “International Laboratory of Architecture and Urban Design” in Venice. They are co-editors of the magazine “Obradoiro” and they were in the College of Architects of Galicia from 2001 to 2005. They have also been invited to teach courses and to lecture abroad.

COAG Vigo Irisarri & Piñera Location: Vigo Date: 2010


The architects have described this building as having “four freedoms.” By “capable solid,” they refer to the unifying quality that a building has when defined by a single volume, albeit one that has been altered so that it no longer reads as a geometric solid. By a “place in which to place” they refer to the way the building’s siting is intertwined with the existing plaza. Their goal is a public space that is contiguous with the building. With an “ethical mandate” the architects argue that since this is a building for architects, it should take on issues that may not adhere to the logic of the market, but rather to more altruistic goals, such as sustainability and research into new building techniques. Finally, with “evolving program” they argue that the building must be able to transform as its uses change, particularly since profession of architecture itself is also changing rapidly.


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Arata ISOZAKI Arata Isozaki was born in 1931 and awarded the RIBA gold medal in 1986. He is a graduate of the University of Tokyo and he worked under Kenzo Tange before establishing his own firm in 1963. He has produced a lifetime’s worth of architectural work, from his 1960s projects such as the Oita Prefectural Library, to projects in the 1990s all over the world, including work in Barcelona, Orlando, Kraków, Nagi in Okayama Prefecture, Kyoto, Nara, Akiyoshidai in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Berlin, and our very own Galician city A Coruña. He continues to work today in the Middle East, China, and Central Asia.

Museum of Mankind Arata Isozaki & Cesar Portela Location: La Coruña Date: 1990-1994


[A] CoruĂąa, a seaport in the Galician region of north western Spain, is known for its fierce ocean wind and the rough waves it creates. Domus, Museum of Mankind, is situated overlooking OrzĂĄn Bay near the lighthouse of Hercules, a tower erected by the Romans. To place a single building on the site, an almost vertical cliff which drops into the sea, called for a simple form that would surpass the scale of the residential backdrop and make a clear impression from far away in scale with the Lighthouse. The rear facade was designed in the image of a Japanese folding screen. The screen elements have an average height of 11 meters in response to the scale of the surrounding residential area. The granite panels, backed by concrete, are constructed directly on the rock. The 94 meter long, 17 meters high curved barrier wall, covered with green slate panels, consists of a series of 2.6 meter precast concrete units. Using only rock from the Galician region throughout the project Isozaki achieved a sense of lightness not normally associated with stone. The roof, supported by metal trusses resting perpendicularly on the two walls of totally different character, opens up into a sliding skylight for overhead lighting. The interior concrete wall surfaces are left exposed. From the Promenade along the shore visitors to the museum ascend a grand stairway, with scenic terraces inserted as rest places, to the entry level 10 meters above the Promenade. Inside the open-plan exhibition space adapts to the topography by means of a series of ramps linking the three levels of museum space in a linear progression. The events hall is situated above the entrance from the Promenade taking advantage of the section generated by the difference in level. Administration and study areas are situated on the top floor, beneath the skylight which extends around the perimeter. [text below from the online architecture magazine www.arcspace.com]


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Enric MIRALLES Enric Miralles was born in CataluĂąa in 1955 and died prematurely at age 45. He produced an impressive body of work during his short career, at first collaborating with Carme PinĂłs and later with others. He studied architecture in CataluĂąa and some of his notable buildings include an archery range and the Santa Caterina market, both in Barcelona. More recently he designed several high rises and the Scotish parliament, which he did in collaboration with Benedetta Tagliabue.

University Campus Vigo Enric Miralles & Benedetta Tagliabue Date: 1999 Location: Vigo, Pontevedra


This is one of the architect’s most complex projects. Miralles sites the building in a topography of his own making and the building generates surprising interior and exterior spaces. In the design of the project the architect sought to give the inhabitant a way to identify with the campus’ organization. The program is understood as one that necessarily evolves, as one would expect from a vital university environment. The building design in part responds to the natural beauty of the site, the topography of the landscape around the site, of the small inland valleys. It also generates new circulatory routes, including an access road and car parks.


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Cesar PORTELA Cesar Portela was born in 1937, in Pontevedra. He graduated from the Universidad Polit茅cnica in Madrid in 1966. He has been invited to teach at the universities of Pamplona, Nancy, Caracas, Lisboa, and Weimar. Portela has also organized international conferences and seminars in Naples, Belfort, and Caracas. He paticipated in the fourth architecture biennial in Santander. Portela received the National Architecture Award in 1999 for his bus station project in C贸rdoba.

Finisterre Cementery Cesar Portela Date: 2002 Location: Finisterre, Coruna


The architecture that resulted in this project was based on three ways in which Portela engages architecture: respecting the natural context of the project, introducing cultural references, and setting up the architecture as a set of conceptual oppositions. Portela uses contradictory ideas about the project to tease beginnings—sparks—out of the friction between them. The land/sea or the building/horizon of physical reality can be transformed through conceptualization into ideas of the earthly and the transcendent, the organic and the abstract. Programming for this project was carefully planned around the physical limits that define the functions of a cemetery. Contemporary definitions of a cemetery merely define it as a churchyard with a few physical limits that completely enclose and protect the activities and tombs within it. Contrary to this commonplace definition, Portela based his cemetery on the on the Via Sepulchra in Pompey, in which tombs and pantheons were arranged close to causeway leading out of the city. One might say that the protection that Portela’s cemetery in Fisterra offers is that of the orographical environment that results form his architectural intervention in the natural environment. The project is part architecture, part land art, and it succeeds in how it deploys abstraction, promenade, and in the juxtaposition of natural and artificial components.


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Aldo ROSSI Born in Milan (1931-1997). He was an Italian architect and designer who accomplished the unusual feat of achieving international recognition in three distinct areas: theory, drawing, and architecture. He graduated in architecture in 1959 from the Politecnico di Milano. His earliest works of the 1960s were mostly theoretical and displayed a simultaneous influence of 1920s Italian modernism (see Giuseppe Terragni), classicist influences of Viennese architect Adolf Loos, and the reflections of the painter Giorgio De Chirico. In his writings Rossi criticized the lack of understanding of the city in current architectural practice. He argued that a city must be studied and valued as something constructed over time; of particular interest are urban artifacts that withstand the passage of time. Rossi held that the city remembers its past (our “collective memory�), and that we use that memory through monuments; that is, monuments give structure to the city.

Sea Museum Aldo Rossi and Cesar Portela Date: 2002 Location: Vigo


The great bucket that uses as cockpit for the permanent collection is divided in two volumes; the biggest is constructed in the shape of gallery presided by a great lantern that sifts the natural light. The game of crossed perspectives, the combination tinted with lights and the contrast between the wood and the white walls they shape a hot environment for the contemplation of work of art. Manuel Gallego got the National Prize of Architecture for the design of this building. The set of buildings 14.000 m are 2 of the Museum, in words of the own architect “... A constellation of sites that makes possible that every visitor could find ` his own´accompanied always for the color, the sound, the recendo..., the mystery of the sea, taking always as a reference to line of the horizon or, to the late afternoon, the lights of the beacons of End Man, of End Silleiro, of the Islands Cíes, of the Mount of the Guide, or of the innumerable beacons estratexicamente emprazadas that beirean the ways of the sea... A lucky meeting between a logical architecture, a few beautiful arts and a happy nature...”


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Guillermo VAZQUEZ CONSUEGRA He was born in Andalucia. Licensed from the School of Architecture of Sevilla in 1972, where he was professor until 1987. Invited professor at the School of Architecture in Buenos Aires, Federal Polytechnical School of Laussana, School of Architecture in Navarra, Syracuse University School of Architecture, la Facoltá di Architettura di la Università di Bologna, Facoltá di Architettura di Venezia y en la Accademia di architettura di la Universitá Della Svizzera italiana di Mendrisio (2007). Soince 2006 Vazquez Consuegra is the director of “International Architectural Atelier Vázquez Consuegra” in the University of Sevilla.

Harbour Master Plan Vazquez Consuegra Date: 2004 Location: Vigo, Pontevedra


Vazquez Consuegra`s project for the former harbour tries to open the city towards towards the sea, with a series of public spaces, plazas, public buildings that make from a former industrial area the new center of the city itself. With a very topographic project, Vazquez creates a new landscape in what before was just a flat area.


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Authors: C.Seoane & O.Fuertes c CAinstitute | COMPOSTELA SUMMER PROGRAM | WWW.CAINSTITUTE.ES |

Profile for Fundacion Compostela Arquitectura

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Guide book for contemporary architecture tours in Galicia

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