Museums and exhibition spaces

San Sebastián

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Expansion of the San Telmo Museum

Fuensanta Nieto y Enrique Sobejano, arquitectos

Description Technical file

The metaphor of the “wall of vegetation” associated with a powerful architectural idea involving a nature-artifice relationship addresses in a natural way the joining of the building with the existing museum and Mount Urgull.

The San Telmo Museum, in its current condition, is but the result of a lengthy process of successive modifications that have partially altered its physical and functional character over the years. Its location on the meeting point between the urban structure and the topography of Mount Urgull is, furthermore, a reflection of a highly characteristic urban problem in San Sebastián: the solution of a limit between natural and artificial landscape that has never been completely resolved.

How to deal with a contemporary expansion in San Telmo in response to new spatial needs and powerful landscape conditioning factors, in turn capable of expressing their connection to the place over time?

The direct and radical gesture that defines this proposal paradoxically carries implicit in itself its practical dissolution in the landscape of Mount Urgull. The project is limited to building a new wall of vegetation, deep yet light, that rests on the existing topographical different and conceals inside it two pavilions housing the required programme. This decision favours the enhancement of both the historical constructions and the new architecture that defines the enlargement. The reception pavilion on Plaza Zuloaga constitutes the new entrance to the museum, from which it is possible to create a good link to the old building – which will incorporate the permanent collections – as well as to the new temporary exhibitions pavilion. The main vestibule also constitutes the natural link with the new areas that house the cloakroom, shop, assembly hall, media library, learning room and cafeteria, which complete the spaces required by a museum of these characteristics.

A “wall of vegetation”… On certain occasions the metaphor associated with an architectural idea ends up imparting sense to each and every one of the project's aspects. Thus the slight breaks and changes in direction in the wall are sufficient to naturally resolve the pedestrian accesses to Mount Urgull, configuring an outdoor exhibition space or enabling a terrace-cafeteria open to the landscape and to the city.

As a further expression of the nature/artifice relationship that impregnates this proposal, the new screen-building is defined by a perforated metal skin enveloped in moss, lichen and other species of vegetation that will eventually surround the entire building. Made in collaboration with the artists Leopoldo Ferrán and Agustina Otero on the basis of combining cast parts expressly conceived for this occasion, this is an unusual intervention on the city's public space that represents a field of action common to plastic arts and to architecture. The new enlargement of the San Telmo Museum modifies its appearance over the seasons, vanishing on occasion to blend into the vegetation of the mountain and reappearing on others, evoking a long and broken unfinished wall: an unexpected metaphor, perhaps, for the difficult relationship that any architecture establishes with time.

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Promotor: Ayuntamiento de Donostia - San Sebastián. Arquitectos: Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, S.L.P. Fuensanta Nieto – Enrique Soberano, arquitectos. Arquitecto de Proyecto: Miguel Ubarrechena. Colaboradores: Stephen Belton, Juan Carlos Redondo, Pedro Guedes, Joachim Kraft y Alexandra Sobral. Dirección de Obra: Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, S.L.P., Miguel Mesas Izquierdo, Aparejador. Intervención Artística en Fachada: Leopoldo Ferrán – Agustina Otero. Estructura: NB 35 S.L. Instalaciones: R. Úrculo Ingenieros Consultores, S.A. Protección Contra Incendios: 3i Ingeniería Industrial. Fotografías: Fernando Alda. Empresa constructora: U.T.E. San Telmo. Amenabar / Moyua.
Suppliers list
Constructora: Construcciones Moyua
Constructora: Construcciones Amenabar
Hormigón: Aizkibel
Solados de piedra: Areniscas de los pinares
Pladur: Arrasate decoraciones
Restauración: Artelan
Barnizado: Barnizados Itxaso
Recrecidos: Bedua pavimentos
Sanitarios: Belartza cerámicas
Solera ventilada: Caviti Form
Solera piedra: Colobal Iruña
Hormigón: Comercial Urratz
Panel Sándwich: Cubertec
Jardinería: Donostia Lizar
Morteros: Ederra
Restauración: Egoarte restauración
Electricidad: Elkor electricidad
Tramex: Eurotramex
Vidriería: Epi
Aislamiento: Euna
Líneas de vida: Exmatra securite
Acero corrugado: Ferraleria Manso
Estructura metálica: Ferrolan calderería
Climatización: Giroa
Acero corrugado: Hierros Bidania
Vidriería: La Veneciana
PCI / Seguridad: Lehengoak
Vidriería: Miarpe 2008
Recrecido: Nevaper
Acero corrugado: Omnia armaduras
Recrecido: Pavial norte
Terrazo: Pavindus
Pintura: Picon
Solados de piedra: Pinacas
Revestimiento Alucobond: Plastinox
Fachada: Proiek
Ignifugado: Protecna
Barnizado: Raiz 2000
Carpintería madera: Riolga
Teja: San Javier cerámicas
Impermeabilización: Sercusa
Anclajes: Slece
Mamparas: Tatec
Panel Sándwich: Tezno Cuber.
Calidad: Test JG
Electro-osmosis: TSA
Electricidad: Txindoki
Elevación: Ulahi ascensores
Saneamiento: Ulma
Saneamiento: Urola
Fontanería/ Saneamiento: Urpeko
Estructura prefabricada: Viguetas Navarras
Solados: Zarra
Moqueta: 3d Complementos
Excavación y demolición: Excavaciones Imanol Lasa
Mano de obra: Vias atractivas
Mano de obra: HPS
Mano de obra: Maiztzi
Mano de obra: Francis
Electricidad/ Ilumiminación: Beysa
Seguridad y Salud: Novotec
Aluminio/ cerrajería: Demesel. Reves
Herrería/cerrajería: Astilan
Calidad: Gikesa

Fuensanta Nieto de la Cierva
Enrique Sobejano García
Fernando Alda Calvo