Moneo’s Kursaal

Dense Transparency

Moneo’s Kursaal

Moneo’s Kursaal

Dense Transparency

Joan Sabaté 
31/10/1998


Rafael Moneo has been described as an architect who is not interested in cultivating a personal style. Antón Capitel, said that Moneo takes the discipline as “the reflective use of diverse resources, in search not of an architecture of its time, but of the most appropriate architecture for each occasion.” This remains valid when analyzing his work. Moneo begins each work with the freshness of his first. He continues to surprise us, and every surprise includes a not inconsiderable dose of risk. It is difficult to imagine a place as dense in meaning as this site. After three competitions and heated controversy over the razing of the old casino, the city had high expectations. “The Kursaal plot, to this day, is a geographical accident,” Moneo affirmed in his competition entry. He advanced the basis of his project to build an auditorium and conference center: not to continue the urban enlargement of Gros, so as not to hide the Urumea. Instead, the Kursaal was to cut the figure of “two giant rocks stranded at the mouth of the river.”…
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