The industrial complex built on the Deba riverbed in 1939 was designed by the architect Luis Astiazarán for the Unión Cerrajera facilities. Also known as the clock building, the Kulturola building represents one of the most significant elements of the industrial heritage of Arrasate, now restored as a centre for cultural uses.
It is one of the most significant examples of the industrial architecture of the Modern Movement in the Basque Country, cataloged in the Monument category of the General Inventory of Basque Cultural Heritage as an Asset of Cultural Interest.
The passageway that crosses the building on the ground floor, which is the former access to the industrial complex, is incorporated into the urban space, at the same time providing a large entrance threshold to the building and offering an undercover area for open air activities.
The restoration of the Kulturola building revives and enhances values of the industrial architecture of the Modern Movement such as singularity and total value. It will also stress the connection between the building, the landscape and the river. Highlighting, through contemporary architectural action, its constructive singularity and typological character.
In the facades the composition of the former openings is restored, using minimal section steel carpentry and original glazing bars. The skylights, that were destroyed and then covered up, are restored on the roof, recuperating both the spatiality and overhead lighting of the upper floors.
The old historic staircase is preserved and an additional vertical core staircase designed. This is stained red in memory of the cast iron, which was the material widely used in the initial activities of the building. The same red corporate colour as the Union Cerrajera is used here.
The concrete structure with deep beams on the ceilings is highlighted, leaving the installations visibles, maintaining the industrial atmosphere of the building. Care is taken with the layout of the interior compartments, conserving the spatial neutrality that the original building had.
The historical process of industrialisation has influenced the collective identity, image and contribution of modern architecture as a reflection of a time and way of life. The restoration of the Kulturola building represents a stamp on the landscape, the history, the industry and the society of Arrasate and the Basque Country.