David Chipperfield has revealed designs for turning the headquarters of Spanish banking giant Santander into a public art gallery
The British architect’s designs for Paseo de Pereda in the seaside city of Santander in northern Spain is part of an initiative to move the bank’s extensive art collection to the building.
The bank, which has been based in the building for 95 years, will move its headquarters to the nearby Banesto building, to be remodelled by Spanish architects Antonio Cruz and Antonio Ortiz.
The designs focus on the building’s distinctive central archway, which the scheme envisages as a ‘central spine’, by partially enclosing the upper section.
According to Chipperfield, this major circulation of the building will remain visible to ’celebrate the transformation of the bank into a major public venue for the city’.
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The majority of the building will be dedicated to new galleries for the Santander’s art collection – currently held in Madrid – which includes more than a thousand works from the 16th century to the present, including pieces by Rubens, Picasso and Miró.
Top-floor galleries will be used to host travelling exhibitions and will have a coffered ceiling providing natural top-lighting.
Aside from the cultural programme, the building will also house a multimedia exhibition space explaining the history of the bank, a multipurpose events space, an auditorium, café and bookshop.
On top of the building, a new public pavilion and terrace will be able to host events and functions while offering panoramic over the bay and the city.
The project is due for completion in 2023.
Chipperfield’s other work in Spain includes The America’s Cup Building in Valencia, a base for the world’s premier sailing racing competition, nominated for the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2007.
Project name Paseo de Pereda 9-12
Client Banco Santander
Architect David Chipperfield Architects London
Gross floor area 8,500m²
Project director Benito Blanco
Project architect Sergio Pereira
Executive architect iAMarq
Structural engineer Bernabeu Ingenieros
Services engineer Urculo Ingenieros
Sustainability consultant Urculo Ingenieros
Façade consultant Thornton Tomasetti
Lighting consultant Arup
Fire protection iAMarq
Quantity surveyor iAMarq
Santander s historic headquarters becomes art museum