San Telmo Museum Extension by
Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos

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San Telmo Museum Extension by Niento Sobejano Arquitectos

Moss is expected to grow on the perforated aluminium skin of this museum extension in San Sebastián by Spanish studio Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos.

San Telmo Museum Extension by Niento Sobejano Arquitectos

With its rear wall pushed into the edge of the hillside, the new two-storey block stretches out at a right-angle to the San Telmo Museum.

San Telmo Museum Extension by Niento Sobejano Arquitectos

A staircase ascends across the block, allowing vistors to climb over the roof and onto the landscape.

San Telmo Museum Extension by Niento Sobejano Arquitectos

The museum extension contains galleries for temporary exhibitions as well as an auditorium, library, teaching areas, cloakroom, shop and cafeteria.

San Telmo Museum Extension by Niento Sobejano Arquitectos

See also: our story from yesterday on the Moritzburg Museum Extension in Germany by Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos.

San Telmo Museum Extension by Niento Sobejano Arquitectos

Photography is by Fernando Alda. See more images of this project on Alda's website.

San Telmo Museum Extension by Niento Sobejano Arquitectos

This information is from the architects:


San Telmo Museum Extension
Competition 1st Prize 2005

The Museum of San Telmo, in its present condition, represents the result of a long process of successive modifications which has partially altered its physical and functional character over the years.

San Telmo Museum Extension by Niento Sobejano Arquitectos

Its location on the fringe where the urban structure meets the topography of Monte Urgull is a reflection, on the other hand, of an urban problem very characteristic of San Sebastian: the solution of a division never completely solved between natural and artificial landscape.

San Telmo Museum Extension by Niento Sobejano Arquitectos

How to approach a contemporary extension of San Telmo in response to new requirements for space and stringent landscaping conditions, while expressing its connection to the location with the passing of time?

San Telmo Museum Extension by Niento Sobejano Arquitectos

The direct and radical gesture which defines out proposal implies paradoxically its practical dissolution in the landscape of Monte Urgull.

San Telmo Museum Extension by Niento Sobejano Arquitectos

We will limit ourselves to building a new green wall, deep and light, which is defined by the existing topography, and which hides in its interior two pavilions which will house the new programme.

San Telmo Museum Extension by Niento Sobejano Arquitectos

This decision heighten the appreciation both of the historical buildings as well as the new entrance to the museum, which offers access to the old building – which will incorporate the permanent exhibitions – as well as to the new pavilion for temporary exhibitions.

San Telmo Museum Extension by Niento Sobejano Arquitectos

The main vestibule will therefore constitute a natural link with the new areas for cloakrooms, shop, auditorium, mediatheque, didactic hall and cafeteria which complete the necessary areas in a museum with these characteristics.

San Telmo Museum Extension by Niento Sobejano Arquitectos

A “green wall”: on certain occasions the metaphor associated with an architectural idea gives a sense to each and every aspect of the project.

San Telmo Museum Extension by Niento Sobejano Arquitectos

Hence the slight changes of direction of the wall are sufficient to provide a natural solution to pedestrian access to Monte Urgull, to configure an open air exhibition space, or to house a café-terrace open to the landscape and to the town.

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Rather an expression of the relation natural/artificial which runs throughout our proposal, the new building/screen will be defined by a perforated metal skin enveloped in moss, lichen and other plant species which finally will come to surround the whole building.

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In collaboration with the artists Leopoldo Ferrán and Agustina Otero starting with a combinatorial game of cast-aluminium pieces expressly conceived for this occasion, this will be an unusual intervention in a public area which represents a common field of action between plastic arts and architecture.

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The new extension of the San Telmo Museum will modify its appearance with the passing of the seasons: it will fade on occasions and blend with the vegetation on the hill, and will reappear on other occasions evoking a long unfinished wall: an unexpected metaphor – perhaps – of the difficult relation which architecture establishes with the pass of time.

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Location: Plaza de Zuloaga, San Sebastián
Client: San Sebastián City Council
Architects: Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, S.L.P. - Fuensanta Nieto, Enrique Sobejano

San-Telmo-Museum-Extension-by-Niento-Sobejano-Arquitectos

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Project Architect: Miguel Ubarrechena
Collaborators: Stephen Belton, Juan Carlos Redondo, Pedro Guedes, Joachim Kraft, Alexandra Sobral

San Telmo Museum Extension by Niento Sobejano Arquitectos

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Site Supervision: Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, S.L.P. - Fuensanta Nieto, Enrique Sobejano, Miguel Mesas Izquierdo, Technical Architect
Facade Artistic Intervention: Leopoldo Ferrán, Agustina Otero

San Telmo Museum Extension by Niento Sobejano Arquitectos

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Structure: NB 35 S.L.
Mechanical Engineer: R. Úrculo Ingenieros Consultores, S.A.
Fire Prevention Systems: 3i Ingeniería Industrial
Models: Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos S.L.P. - Juan de Dios Hernández, Jesús Rey

San Telmo Museum Extension by Niento Sobejano Arquitectos

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Project: 2006
Construction: 2007-2011
Construction Company: U.T.E. San Telmo. Amenabar / Moyua

San Telmo Museum Extension by Niento Sobejano Arquitectos

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  • Simon

    Elegant, simple and sensitive….

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Woerl/100000289668811 Michael Woerl

    The museum extension is cool – with the perforations, mentioned along with "moss is expected to grow" -makes me assume that the perforations someow encourage the growth of the moss and that this is all a good thing. I can understand that, especially since the extension also is an 'extension' of the hill/cliff in back of it, and access to the roof allows people to climb onto the hill. All this is not only very interesting, as well as novel (at least to my relative ignorance of modern architecture), and a really good idea-it just seems to me that possibly, instead of all the very sharp angles, the museum extension itself would have been shaped to blend more into the hillside … the moss growing seems to be heading in that 'direction' …

  • mila

    Absolutely love their plan graphics! It's very seldom that a plan scaled down that much still looks that good. The project looks very nice as well. Really looking forward to see pictures of it in ten years.

  • Hercule Poirot

    The question is : why having moss growing on a new construction and spend lots of money to clean the old building next to it and keep it moss-free.
    Vice versa would be cheaper, no?

  • http://twitter.com/Maklabi @Maklabi

    hi, Hercule. The space where now is the new building was neglected. There was a big wall with stairs but it was eroded and it was dangerous. I mean, the moss wasn't the only problem. This new structure remember the old one (it was covered by moss) but its more usefull because it is part of the museum.

  • edward44

    Yeah but nobody will remember how the original stair looked so why try to make an aluminum clad building look (something) like a rock (or concrete wall) face? This one was over-thought.. Consider lex parsimoniae.next time.

  • Chris

    Umm… would really love to see some interior pics?

  • Dasha

    Im guesing the photographer didnt get any good shots of the interior…? Would love to see how the light penatrates through the pouris fascade…

  • kris

    I found some awesome interior shots from the STM website http://www.santelmomuseoa.com/index.php?option=co