Museums and exhibition spaces


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Interactive Museum of the History of Lugo

Fuensanta Nieto y Enrique Sobejano, arquitectos

Description Technical file

The urban and topographical conditions of the site, together with the existence of some old industrial structures, permit the formalisation of an architectural idea linked to the city's sequence of public spaces, within the framework of the typology inherent to the “park-museum”.

The site chosen for the competition of the Interactive Museum of the History of Lugo – which until recently still held a few old industrial structures – occupies a position that is relatively distant from the historic centre, though it will soon become the arrival point for visitors to the city. This is essentially owing to the decision of locating a large car park with the scale of an urban infrastructure that directly affects the project's conception.

Architecture and landscape blend together in this proposal for a museum-park, or a park-museum, linked to the city's sequence of green spaces, concealing the parking areas underground and emerging in a constellation of cylindrical lanterns that dot a green and continuous meadow. As always happens when one seeks to formalise an architectural idea –which often emerges from an intuition – it is the analysis of the programme and the place that gives sense to the specific proposal.

The building is divided into two large interconnected areas: the interchange-car park and the museum. The strong unevenness between the East and West ends of this site suggests the possibility of taking the mid-level as the reference in the park, so that the car park is sited virtually at street level and is consequently semi-buried and concealed from view.

The Museum and Visitor Centre is essentially organised on a single floor illuminated through large circular courtyards that bring natural light into the interior and permit its independent and controlled use. Emerging from the principal courtyard – like contemporary cylindrical bastions in a place until recently populated by industrial silos – are the most singular and tallest exhibition halls, which become the exterior image of the new building.

The exhibition area has been conceived on the basis of two types of spaces: a neutral and flexible one, suitable for displaying panels, interactive modules or glass cases with original pieces, and another one defined by the three cylinders, singular spaces owing to their shape and dimension and suitable for audiovisual installations and screenings. The larger of them is a great “black box” of 500 m2 and 10 m of free height, housing museographic installations made with new means and technologies.

The towers emerging from the garden are clad on the outside in Corten steel mesh, incorporating artificial lighting that at night illuminates the new park. The Museum of History of Lugo constitutes the experience of a stroll around a vegetal and metallic landscape, a field of light whose glow appears to emerge from inside the earth, evoking images of meadows and caves, of walls and fortified towers –metaphors for a landscape and a culture that the people of Lugo carry in their own memory.

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Promotor: Ayuntamiento de Lugo. Arquitectos: Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, S.L.P., Fuensanta Nieto – Enrique Soberano, arquitectos. Arquitecto de Proyecto: Alexandra Sobral. Coodinación de Proyecto: Vanesa Manrique. Colaboradores: Borja Ruiz-Apilánez, Juan Carlos Redondo, Bart de Beer y Rocío Domínguez. Dirección de Obra: Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, S.L.P., Fuensanta Nieto – Enrique Soberano arquitectos y Miguel Mesas Izquierdo, Aparejador. Estructura: NB 35 S.L. Instalaciones: 3i Ingeniería Industrial, S.L. Fotografías: Fernando Alda. Empresa constructora: U.T.E. Aldesa – Cuadernas.
Fuensanta Nieto de la Cierva
Enrique Sobejano García
Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos

Fernando Alda Calvo