Enaire Foundation building in Santander
Fernández-Abascal + Muruzabal  GFA2 

Enaire Foundation building in Santander

Fernández-Abascal + Muruzabal  GFA2 

The existing structure was the result of the overlapping of projects. The building was conceived in 1901 by Jesús Grinda y Fornerbut substantially remodelled in the 1950s when the northern pavilion was added. Multiple alterations have occurred since then. In 2018, when the competition was called, the storehouse was substantially damaged. The project proposes adding another strata to this series of interventions, a cleansing exercise on the eclectic and heterogeneous warehouse, a meticulous renovation that interprets the historical traces of the building to accommodate the new exhibition requirements. Simultaneously, the project aims for a certain abstraction. By whitening the building its different materials are merged, turning it into a neutral volume by the striking Festival Hall, completed by Sáenz de Oiza in 1990.

The interior space of the galleries is preserved, especially that of the old one, keeping its proportions, its characteristic metallic structure, and its top light. The general volume is maintained, with subtle interventions on its facade reflecting the program changes introduced. The principal gallery thus occupies the whole main bay, and the rest of the functional needs – foyer, services, toilets, offices, storage, and a temporary gallery – are in the annex construction that includes a new mezzanine that holds all programmatic demands. This allows for the creation of a 40m long, uninterrupted interior – a continuous space to host the Foundation’s art collection. The intervention is kept to the bare minimum: a new roof with a long skylight, refurbished steel trusses, two internal openings, and four external holes: two doors and two big windows. This simple strategy gives the main gallery all the attention, letting it quietly shine. It also creates a small plaza that acts as the antechamber for the gallery. A large canopy and a small square define the entrance. A long stone bench facing south, a cobblestone plaza, and two herbaceous beds with sculptures and a vertical garden create the public realm.

The nuanced intervention produces an abstracted exterior while housing a serene interior. The bleached new image is constructed by a series of simple spatial interventions and accompanied by a seamless integration of services, lighting, and other functional and climate control requirements that transform the neglected warehouses into a contemporary art gallery. These specific and explicit operations convert the existing industrial complex into a new cultural container for the city.

Obra Work
Fundación Enaire, Santander (España) Enaire Foundation, Santander (Spain).

Cliente Cliente
Ministerio de Fomento de España.

Arquitectos Architects
Fernández-Abascal & Muruzábal / Eduardo Fernández-Abascal, Floren Muruzábal (socios partners); Evangelos Pournaras, Ana Paz (colaboradores concurso competition collaborators).
GFA2 / Gabriel Fernández-Abascal, Guillermo Fernández-Abascal (socios partners).

Consultores Consultants
Dynamis / Ángel Chamizo (estructura structure); Suma Ingeniería / Juan Carcedo, César Jayo (instalaciones MEP services); Intervento (iluminación lighting design); María José Salazar (museología exhibition design); Pedro Rasines del Río (arqueología archaeology); Gesatec / Raquel Gómez, Francisco Santamaría (arquitectos técnicos quantity surveyors); Eurocontrol (gestión de residuos waste management); Santiago Durán (gestión de proyecto project management).

Contratista Contractor
Ascan, Rucecan.

Presupuesto Budget
1.800.000 €.

Superficie Area
1.000 m².

Fotos Photos 
Luis Díaz Díaz.