Carlos Santamaría Centre by JAAM

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Carlos Santamaría Centre by JAAM

Photographer Iñigo Bujedo Aguirre has sent us these photographs of a curved concrete library in San Sebastian with a narrow courtyard driven through its centre.

Carlos Santamaría Centre by JAAM

Completed in 2008 by Ander Marquet Ryan of Spanish architects JAMM, the Carlos Santamaría Centre is located on the campus of the University of the Basque Country.

Carlos Santamaría Centre by JAAM

Timber-panelled walls surround the secluded courtyard, which separates the two-storey building into two asymmetrical halves.

Carlos Santamaría Centre by JAAM

The library’s book collection is housed on two storeys of the larger half, while the smaller part contains separate study rooms and a lecture theatre.

Carlos Santamaría Centre by JAAM

The round concrete exterior walls converge into a point at the front entrance to give the building a teardrop-shaped plan. Students walk through this pointed entrance into a double-height colonnade, where L-shaped timber columns surround a glass wall and roof.

Carlos Santamaría Centre by JAAM

Photographer Iñigo Bujedo Aguirre previously photographed the helter-skelter-like Centro Niemeyer by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, which you can see here.

Here's some information from the architect:


The Carlos Santamaría Centre, located in San Sebastian is an advanced data centre and library, linked to the Ibaeta University Campus and the result of a competition developed by the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU).

Carlos Santamaría Centre by JAAM

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The building is conceived as a huge container, shaped from a spontaneous outline following the natural curve of the lot. The line is the wall containing the two blocks arranged in a north-south direction, and its vertex is at the place we consider the most important: the building’s main access, which opens up like a large mouth, pointing the vertex towards the sky.

Carlos Santamaría Centre by JAAM

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The division of the construction into two blocks also makes the creation of a private, inner garden possible, like an extension of the spaces that overlook it. It is a quiet, green area, accessible for strolling, reading and group meetings, always lighted from the south and north, an outdoor counterpoint to urban noise, inside the building.

Carlos Santamaría Centre by JAAM

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With regard to its construction, the principal façade of the building is a curved wall of 25cm made out of white self-compacting concrete. On the other hand, in the garden which divides the building the solution of the facades consists of IPE wood planks.

Carlos Santamaría Centre by JAAM

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Architect: Ander Marquet Ryan, JAAM sociedad de arquitectura s.l.p.
Quantity surveyor: Juncal Aldamizechevarría

Carlos Santamaría Centre by JAAM

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Collaborators: June Gómez Alonso, Emmanuele Pibiri, Naia Landa Méndez, Mario Domínguez Maestre
Structure: Minteguia y Bilbao

Carlos Santamaría Centre by JAAM

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Instalaciones: PGI (project), JG ingenieros (construction).
Developer: Universidad del País Vasco (UPV-EHU)

Carlos Santamaría Centre by JAAM

Construction company: Construcciones Moyua
Date of project: January 2008

Carlos Santamaría Centre by JAAM

End of construction: July 2011
Area: 24.000m²

Carlos Santamaría Centre by JAAM

  • http://dancalverley.blogspot.com/ dan calverley

    Richard Meier influence to the curved element?

  • Ben

    nice, but that small wood fence is a little bit awkward…