Carlos Santamaria Centre by JAAM

The main entrance opens up to the public like a huge mouth.

BIZKAIA – The University of the Basque Country has recently received an addition that makes us think of Tadao Ando and Le Corbusier’s Ronchamp, with a dash of Spanish drama.

Surrounded by a round white concrete wall, which converges into a point to form a mouth-like  entrance, the Carlos Santamaria Centre appears quite monolithic from the outside, making its entirely wood-clad interior spaces a surprising discovery.

Behind the white wall, the two-storey building is divided into two parts by a linear courtyard, separating the library from other functions like the advanced data space and auditorium, and acting as an inward-looking plaza with an intimate atmosphere.

Bilbao-based architecture firm JAAM won the design competition in 2008, finally completing the Carlos Santamaria Centre last November.

Photographs courtesy of JAAM

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