Musikene. Music Center of the Basque Country

2007-2015 | Basque Country Education Departament

Primer premio concurso público 2017 | Premio del COAVN 2017 de arquitectura | Nominado a los premios “European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award”

A solid dark volume that when it is carved, a bright and luminous interior is discovered. The building projects along the city of San Sebastian, the artistic activity developed inside, music.

Musikene, Higher School of Music of the Basque Country, considered a reference as a learning centre in European scale.

This sculpted building responses to dense and compartmentalised needs programme in a constrained plot. This situation makes the building use the maximum volume allowed by the regulations and enlarge the surface of the façades as much as possible in order to light each and every space.

The volume veils a precious piece inside, the auditorium, which becomes the heart of the building.

In addition the building houses 75 different size acoustic classrooms, 32 individual practice cabins, library, music archives, administration and teacher areas along with many other facilities.

Even though the building can appear to be an arbitrary sculpture, the project is the result of meticulously adapting the needs to the geometry and demands of the plot. Leading to a design, which seeks to be representative of the artistic activities that take place inside.

The building arises as an inner self-sufficient element, nevertheless answers back to its surroundings giving a response to the urban structure and nearby buildings.

The building formal designs comes from the need of enlarging the façades surface in order to illuminate the different spaces. Three impressive incisions sculpt the solid volume through some clear and straight cuts, projecting the soul and the brightness of the building towards the city.

The contrast between the different façades has been strengthen by the use of high brightness black colour in the covering part and gold colour for the cuts. The materials evoke with a subtle language the finishing of the musical instruments.

Photos:  Aitor Ortiz,  Jorge Allende