Basque Cultural Center by Jon Montero and Naiara Montero

Basque Cultural Center

The International Competition for the Architectural Renovation of Tabakalera has selected the Jon Montero and Naiara Montero’ design as the first winner. The competition aimed to get the best proposal to turn the 90 years old Tabakalera building into an international contemporary culture centre.

Basque Cultural Center

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 proposal’s slogan: ‘3 en RAYA’, or ‘tic-tac-toe’.
  • 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 jury’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.


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