Ciudad de la Cultura
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Ciudad de la Cultura

Ciudad de la Cultura
Edited By Editorial Staff -
Built to plans by Eisenman Architects, Santiago de Compostela’s new symbol, the Ciudad de la Cultura, stretches up the slopes of Monte Gaiás from where it dominates the old town to which pilgrims flock each year. Within the overall project there are to be six distinct areas and six cultural buildings: the museum of Galitia, a casa de l’arte, a cultural centre, a library, an archive, a music centre and a theatre. Of these the archive and library have so far been completed. In outline the buildings blend with the landscape, picking up the sinuous hill skyline with a series of undulating roofs and curving façades which at first sight may seem random but are actually the fruit of a careful plan. The dominant material is local quartzite, used for floors and outside cladding, varied by marble inserts. With their range of colours and textural finishes, the stone surfaces reflect back a play of bright sunlight; patches of light and shade alternate inside the complex too, its walkways and squares recalling the network of a town. Eisenman’s majestic architecture, with its irregular faces interspersed with inlay and protuberances, is lighted up after dusk by external artificial lighting for which Bega were called in. The pedestrian route from the carpark is lined with Bega bollards guiding the visitor to the main entrance. This is flanked by porticoed façades at the base of which floor-mounted floodlights play gently across the surface planes to great effect. Other recessed luminaires pick out the route across the flights of steps. The relationship between architecture and lighting works particularly well. Bega lights are discreetly sited, merging with the buildings and providing a well-calculated light. When daylight fails they highlight the shapes and materials that so distinguish the Ciudad de la Cultura.

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