Renzo Piano to work with Octatube on arts centre with 10m cantilever over the sea
Mick Eekhout, General Director of Octatube, was an intern for Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) several decades ago and has now come full circle to meet Piano on an equal footing, partnering with the world-renowned architect on the Botin Centre scheme in Santander, Spain.
RPBW released designs for the arts and cultural centre in association with Luis Vidal + Architects in 2011 and it has now been announced that the team is working with Octatube who will be responsible for the technical design, engineering, production and installation of the glass facades, roof lights, floors and exterior stairways throughout the project. The complex is expected to open in summer 2014.
The Botin Centre is the brainchild of Emilio Botin, CEO of Banco Santander and chairman of the Botin Foundation. The foundation champions education in various cultural fields from art to science, and aids rural development through investment in ‘creative, progress-making talent’.
Botin is glowing in his depiction of Piano, describing him as ‘the architect who best knows how to link cities to the sea, to build urban spaces and to generate magical places where art may be enjoyed’. Botin has also worked with Octatube on multiple occasions.
Currently under construction in Santander, the Botin Centre will be split into two separate volumes; the East building will focus on culture and education, incorporating a 300-seat auditorium and 4 seminar rooms / workspaces; the West building will concentrate on the display of art, with 2,500 sq m of exhibition space.
The ground floor of the complex will be entirely transparent with structural glass fins that meet smoothly with the bulk of the sloping building volume. This upper portion will be constructed using high quality duplex stainless steel and structural glazing, raised on columns to ensure unobstructed views from the ground floor spaces.
Connecting the two building volumes will be glass walkways with the largest cantilevering approximately 10m out over the sea. Picturesque viewpoints are pivotal to the project with large expanses of glass and roof terraces playing a key role in shaping the design.
Plans also include a covered square generated by the East building and a ‘pier’ underneath the West building. The latter will be a ‘glassed-in’ public space offering dining, retail and leisure facilities. An open-air amphitheatre is also incorporated into the exterior plans, from which visitors can enjoy films projected onto the side of the Botin Centre.