This magnificent building, exhibited at the MoMA of New York and winner of the Young Architecture Prize at the 9th Biennial of Spanish Architecture, is a clear paradigm of how, despite the political vagaries and opposing decisions, good architecture and its authors' capacity to adapt have led to a completion endowed with great global coherence.
What today is denominated the National Science and Technology Museum (MUNCYT) began with the name of Centre of the Arts and was as such conceived as a single container intended to contain two buildings of diverse nature: the new Dance Conservatory of the Provincial Council of A Coruña and a Provincial Museum with an undefined content. A major part of the project's efforts were then focused on defining the identities of each one of the two components of the Centre of the Arts and ultimately defined a tree-like shape that contains inside its branches the dance school and on the outside the museum, thus organising the coexistence of both.
In 2003 construction began on this building as part of a very precise and brilliant technological challenge in which self-compacting concrete was used for the first time in Spain. A façade of solar laminar glass made one by one was developed and 1,000 multicoloured sound-absorbent cylinders, measuring 22 cm in diameter and 125 cm in length, were used in the protection of the installations. The project was executed within budget and in late 2006 the building was virtually finished.
However, political vagaries were to change the prospects of this building and the lack of agreement in regard to content left it closed for 1000 days, after which time it could be said that the building had not been born and was already a ruin …
The solution came in the shape of a transfer to the Ministry of Science and Innovation, which transformed it into the National Science and Technology Museum. A project was drafted to adapt it to the new operating scheme that, among other things, forced the main entrance to be closed and a new entrance to be opened in the opposite façade.
The building gradually emerged from its lethargy in its transformation into a single space of what initially had been two functional identities. Everything began to fit together until in the year 2009 the Spanish Plan for Economy and Employment Stimulus hurriedly made its presence felt and awarded 7 museography projects to 7 different teams for a building that was finally conceived as a single total space, causing a degree of confusion that the architecture is bent on carrying with dignity, as if it were a punishment.
Despite the circumstances here described, the building has always shown a high capacity for “resilience” to the various traumas, and this makes us think that it will be capable of successfully dealing with the new challenges, programmes, museographies and “refoundings” that the future may hold for it.