The Botín Centre has become a great attraction for visitors to the city of Santander since its inauguration last June. Thousands of visitors have enjoyed not only the prestigious exhibitions and works of art on display but also the architecture and interior design of this spectacular building which flies over the bay.
This was one of the aims of the prestigious architect Renzo Piano when designing the centre, in collaboration with Luis Vidal Arquitectos. They designed a building in flight over the sea. They wanted to lift it off the ground, suspended on columns at the height of the treetops in the Jardines de Pereda. What was the goal? To simulate a pier extending into the sea.
The elevation of the structure opens the building to the light and provides views over the bay, thus creating a connection between the city, the historic Jardines de Pereda and the sea.
A work of art integrated into its environment
One of the hallmarks of Renzo Piano’s work, Pritzker Architecture Prize winner in 1998, is the ability to create buildings as authentic works of art, integrated into their surroundings. Thus, the combination of light and water, the quintessential elements of Cantabria, was the key to this project.
Conceived as a centre for art, culture and educational activities, the building extends over more than 8,739 m2, divided into two blocks connected by a walkway of glass and steel known as “El Pachinko”.
The exhibition galleries are located in the same block, divided into two levels. The first floor contains a 1,200 m2 exhibition space while the second floor exhibition rooms total some 1,400 m2 and it is here that illumination is the true protagonist.
The other block, also with two floors, is dedicated to cultural and educational activities. It includes a two-tier auditorium for concerts, conferences and special ceremonies and events. Additionally, the building has an incredible roof, open to the public, offering some of the best panoramic views over the Bay of Santander and the city.
An urban and elegant design
The prestigious architect wanted to create a cosmopolitan and elegant building, as is the case with his other most renowned projects such as the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Auditorium of Rome and the Morgan Library in New York.
On this occasion, Renzo Piano decided on a round structure, fronted with glass and a roof consisting of over 270,000 brilliant ceramic tiles that reflect the sun’s rays and the glitter of the sea. Many say it looks like a real fish with scales looking over the Bay!
Hisbalit in the project
For the interior spaces, Renzo Piano selected high-quality materials that accentuate the natural illumination and architecture of the building.
Piano wanted the auxiliary rooms, bathrooms and dressing rooms, to have a special design and decided on Hisbalit’s Urban Chic collection to surface the walls. A fusion of urban and chic sophistication, between casual and elegance. The combination of pearlescent tones and the magical light creates a strikingly unique sensation.
The walls are clad in soft and glossy mosaic tiles that seem to change colour depending on the light, adding a touch of distinction to the space.
The minimalist design, the clear lines and forms, with metallic touches in Urban Chic 504 are a perfect fit for the fusion of urban and elegance of the building. Mosaic tiles have transformed these rooms creating a suggestive air of urban glamour.
Hisbalit is proud that our mosaic tiles play a role in this project designed by one of the foremost architects in the world!