The team formed by Jon Montero and Naiara Montero has recently won the International Competition for the Architectural Renovation of Tabakalera, located in the city of Donostia-San Sebastian, the capital of the Gipuzkoa territory, in the Basque Country, next to the border between Spain and France.
The Tabakalera building was a tobacco factory for 90 years, and in 2004, the City Council of San Sebastian, the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa and the Basque Government bought the building in order to turn it into an international contemporary culture centre.
The Jury highlighted the following aspects of the winning proposal:
- Its sensitivity to the uses of the future centre and its ability to adapt to the requirements of said uses.
- Its openness to the city, manifested in its proposal to create a new urban square on one side of the building, next to the current entrance to the underground walkway leading to the Egia neighbourhood. This solution represents a whole new way of looking at urban integration, and links, on a single level, Cristina-Enea park (and the Egia neighbourhood), Tabakalera and the city centre. Hence the proposalâ€™s slogan: â€˜3 en RAYAâ€™, or â€˜tic-tac-toeâ€™.
- The construction of a new element that highlights and raises the level of the current building: a glass body over the centre of the building, which reinforces its iconic character and provides a new viewing point over the city.
- Furthermore, other aspects of the proposal also played a role in the juryâ€™s decision, namely: its creativity, innovation, practicality, constructive coherence and its relationship with building and maintenance costs, efficiency as regards the mobility of persons and objects, sustainability strategies and environmentally friendliness and the efficient integration of installations, among others.
The winning team will be responsible for drafting and directing the Works Project. The deadline for completion is nine months from the date of the announcement of the winning proposal.
The project presented by Jon Montero and Naiara Montero is characterized by its respect for the existing building and the way in which it plans to bring out and increase its existing value, using architectural elements and resources that will enable it to become an â€˜urban iconâ€™ and a key building in the cityâ€™s landscape.
Jon Montero forms part of the TAU studio (Architecture and Town Planning Workshop), located in Barcelona, and Naiara Montero runs her own studio in A CoruÃ±a. The team brings both the wisdom of experience and the freshness of youth to all its architectural, interior design, public space and town planning projects. Jon and Naiara Montero have already won several public and private tenders, have published a number of papers and received various accolades. Both are project lecturers.(www.jonmontero.com).
The second prize was awarded to the VAUMM Arquitectura y Urbanismo S.L.P. studio from San SebastiÃ¡n and the third prize was won by SOB Arquitectos S.L. from Barcelona.
The three consolation prizes awarded by the Jury went to nred arquitectos, from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Dietmar Leyk and Petra Wollenberg from Berlin and Carlos Manzano Arquitectos S.A. from Madrid.
Finally, the Jury also made three special mentions of the projects presented by the following teams: Langdon Reis Architects Ltd (London), Isabel de RenterÃa Cano (Barcelona) and Alonso, Balaguer y Arquitectos Asociados S.L. (Barcelona).
Images: Tabakalera Culture Factory
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