Centro Botín, permanent home for the art, educational and cultural programmes of Fundación Botín, is one of Spain’s most important private cultural foundations, has been designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano.
The 10,285 sq m. Centro Botín is located on a landmark site on Santander’s waterfront, reclaiming for the city an area formerly used as the Ferry car park. The building, raised above the ground, frames spectacular views of Santander and the bay and is covered with a unique surface of 270,000 ceramic discs that reflect the changing colours of sea and sky. The building includes 2,500 sq m. of exhibition galleries, a 300-seat auditorium, classrooms, work spaces, an informal restaurant called El Muelle, created by two-Michelin star chef Jesús Sánchez, a shop, and a rooftop terrace offering a new vantage point overlooking the city and the bay.
Centro Botín is set in the historic Pereda Gardens, which, as part of the development, have been completely restored and extended, in a project led by landscape designer Fernando Caruncho in collaboration with Renzo Piano Building Workshop. The gardens are now doubled in size to an area of 9.884 acres, providing a beautiful new public space, a setting for public art, and linking the city centre with the waterfront.
This is the first building by Renzo Piano in Spain.
Centro Botín opens with three major exhibitions, Carsten Höller, Goya and works from the permanent collection of Fundación Botín.
Centro Botín is a beacon for the continuously growing cultural and educational work of the Fundación Botín in Spain which began in the 1980s, and includes exhibitions by major international artists, focus exhibitions from the Fundación Botín’s collection of contemporary art, and regular showings of work by younger generation artists involved in the continuing programme.
Fundación Botín’s workshop programme, which has existed for over two decades, brings major artists to Spain to mentor young artists, and to then exhibit their work in the foundation’s exhibition space – as of now, at Centro Botín. Recent participants in this programme include Joan Jonas, Julie Mehretu, Carlos Garaicoa and Tacita Dean.
Centro Botín is also home to the Fundación’s acclaimed educational activities, created in collaboration with Yale University, focused on the role of the arts in developing emotional intelligence and encouraging people’s creative capacities, through workshops, seminars, courses and learning activities.