The Project for the new Cultural Centre Caixaforum Sevilla attemps to coherently resolve two questions that are always important when dealing with interventions on existing buildings (in this case, existing structures), as the occupational strategy and the necessity of visibility given an expected organization.
The mentioned ocuppational strategy is based on an analysis of the existing spaces and the previous uses planned for the “Podium Building” of the Tower Pelli Complex. The current structure has unavoidable determined program distribution as well as the spatial configuration of the different uses. That way, the main strategy consists on placing a series of volumes fairly autonomous inside the present structure looking for the coexistence of each one of the interventions.
In that line we could stand out the disposition of the exhibition rooms and the auditorium in the only spaces that, due to their height and dimensions, allowed their positioning, being demarcated by self-standing enclosure elements that avoid conflict with the current concrete structure. These available spaces take place underground, fact that has conditioned the access sequence and flows along the building. Likewise, the cafeteria and administration areas have been placed in the upper levels searching for better conditions of light and views.
On the other hand, the importance and required visibility of Caixaforum-Sevilla inside this complex has led to certain operations to clarify the entry. The main access to the exhibitions will be held under a new canopy that will cover both the entrance and the skylight, source of natural light necessary for the lower levels, creating a covered plaza situated between the designed tree rows and permeable to the flows of people that will go through the buildings ensemble.
In this Project, we could speak of two superimposed worlds: the interior, excavated world, which operates by subtraction and which is formed with flat, orthogonal architecture, an architecture for permanence, and an exterior world, represented by the entry canopy, which is due to the contingencies, limitations, connections and restrictions. An architecture that belongs to the will of an epoch and a contemporary sensitivity.
These two worlds are connected by a channel of natural light. The canopy not only covers and protects the accesses descending to Caixaforum, but is also a container of light, which captures and channels the light towards the underground vestibule through a large skylight. This skylight traps the light and filters it through its constituent material: a light envelope of stabilised aluminium foam.
The cut-outs and concavities in the canopy, which give it its final shape, are the result of interaction with the existing trees, and the objective is to build an intense relationship between architecture and nature and to cover the entrances (stairs and lift), to capture natural light and to facilitate the flow of visitors on foot.
Graduated from the School of Architecture of Seville in 1972, where he served as studio professor until 1987. Visiting professor at the universities of Buenos Aires, Lausanne, Navarra, Syracuse, Bologna, Venice and Visiting Scholar at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Professor at the Academy of Architecture of Mendrisio (University of Italian Switzerland) from 2007 to 2010. Director of Architecture Classes at the Universidad Complutense from 1993 to 2004. Honorary Professor at the University of Seville in 2005, where he holds the “Taller Internacional Catedra Blanca”.
He has been distinguished with various national and international awards, among others: the “Il Principe e l’Architetto”, the National Prize in Architecture (2005), the European Architecture Prize Ugo Rivolta (2008), Trophèe Archizinc (2010), Gran Premio de la Bienal Internacional de Buenos Aires (2011), Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, AIA (2014) and Spanish Architecture Gold Medal (2016).