With a total surface area of 8,739 m2, the Botín Centre consists of two rounded volumes connected by a series of steel and glass walkways, creating a kind of raised, public piazza with stairways and lifts providing access to the Centre.
The east wing encloses a 300-seat, two-tier auditorium suspended over the sea providing a unique view of Santander and its bay, as well as an educational centre with classrooms and work spaces. This section of the structure has been designed to provide maximum flexibility so it may be adapted to suit various activities: the auditorium, for example, can be switched around to host concerts, lectures and conferences, or even parties, events and ceremonies, while the classrooms in the educational centre can be used for creative arts, music, dance and cooking for both children and adults.
The western part of the structure, on the other hand, is used for cultural and artistic activities and has an exhibition gallery extending over two levels with a total area of 2,500 m2, characterised by views overlooking both the sea and the park. The exhibition space on the upper level is lit by natural light filtering through a complex, multi-layered structure of glass, aluminium and white sheets. The ground-floor level, on the other hand, has a transparent façade and a multi-functional space with a coffee-shop, a restaurant, shops and an information centre. Next to the façade on the western side of the structure there is also an amphitheatre that has been “excavated” into the park itself, with an LED screen to project open-air shows and films.
The two bodies that make up the Centre are covered entirely with 280,000 small, ceramic briquettes in a mother-of-pearl colour which were mechanically fixed to the substrate and reflect the sunlight and the shimmering sea.
QUALITY INTERIOR SPACES
The RPBW design studio specified the use of high quality materials, in keeping with the architecture of the building and its characteristics of light and transparency.
For certain areas, such as the bathrooms, changing rooms and kitchen area, the designers went for a very special solution and decided to cover the walls with mosaics made up of small, shiny glass tiles in subtle shades that change colour as the intensity of the light changes during the day. Mapei Technical Services were also involved in the project and suggested to the installation company to use KERAPOXY CQ two-component epoxy grout and adhesive with a bacteriostatic agent and BioBlock® technology. This product allows floors, walls and worktops to be created which comply with the HACCP system and the requirements of EC Regulation No. 852/2004 regarding hygiene and foodstuffs.
In the communal areas, ceramic tiles were installed with ADESILEX P9 high performance, cementitious adhesive with no vertical slip and extended open time for ceramic tiles. Joints were grouted with ULTRACOLOR PLUS high performance, polymer-modified, quick-setting and drying, anti-efflorescence mortar with water-repellent DropEffect® and mould-resistant BioBlock® technology, ideal for grouting joints from 2 to 20 mm wide.