Centro Botin

Centro Botin

The Centro Botìn was thought from the beginning as a cultural center for the city, it had to include different functions, not only an exhibition space but also an educational center. These different functions are articulated in two buildings connected by a steel structure of walkways and steps with a silk.screened glass decking. The design and construction of the building involved a series of relevant interventions in the nearby areas: the big and fast road that separated the city from the sea was buried, so that the Jardines de Pereda park, so much loved by the citizens, were extended, their surface was doubled to arrive at the lagoon and the Centre itself.

The Centro Botìn was intended from the beginning as a place of culture for the city, where different functions coexisted, not only an exhibition space but also an educational center. These different functions are articulated into two separate volumes, the west wing dedicated to the exhibition function, the east wing houses the auditorium, multifunctional and teaching spaces. The two volumes are connected by a series of walkways, which also form a piazza at 7 m. height on the seal, in steel and silk-screened glass. The choice of this material makes the movement of people visible, which translates the social character of the building, intended as a meeting place.

The design of the building also involved a series of interventions in the adjacent areas: the large road that separated the city from the sea was filled in, in this way the Jardines de Pereda, much loved by the citizens, were enlarged, doubling the surface, until reaching the lagoon and the site of the Centre, in this way the city has recovered the view of the sea and an access to its port. To ensure that the view of the lagoon could continue to be enjoyed from the gardens, the building bodies were brought to the height of the tree scaffolding. This solution also creates a free space at the base of the building which becomes a place for socialising.

Light and water were very important elements that entered into a relationship with the building both externally, reflecting on the ceramic covering, and internally thanks to the south and north facades, completely glazed, and the zenithal lighting of the exhibition galleries

Project data


1985 - 1988


1988 - 2001

Gross surface

8.739 m²

Gallery surface area

2.485 m²


22 m


300 seats

Ceramic cladding

280.000 tiles



Fundacion Botin


Renzo Piano Building Workshop, architects in collaboration with Luis Vidal + Architects (Madrid)


Dynamis, Arup, Typsa (Structure); Arup, Typsa (MEP, façade); Fernando Caruncho (Landscape); Bovis (Project management); Müller-BBM (Acoustic); Gleeds, Typsa (Cost consultant); Artec 3, Arup (lighting).