The Aquarium of San Sebastian has been lodged for more than 100 years in a building on Mount Urgull´s feet, in one of the most visible zones of La Concha Bay. It is an institution for which its own building, while being at the same time its identity seal, had become an obstacle for its progress due to its internal complexity and lack of space. The objective of the project was the extension and reorganisation of the building. The project was implemented following an strict organisation in complementary phases that allowed the institution to be opened through the whole renovation process.
The applied strategy uses the program´s peripheral components to optimize the internal functioning of the museistical institution.
A new entrance was created through a recently adquired warehouse in the port.
In the interior, a single path allows the visitor to cross every exhibition space. Thanks to the new organisation, some spaces could be liberated for meeting rooms, exhibition or sightseeing.
The restaurant constructed in the present building´s cover. Thanks its location, it was possible to build it in a first phase, what guaranteed the operativity of the Aquarium during the construction. The building offers one of the most impressive views of La Concha bay while being integrated with the mountain in its back, as if it was one of the fortress that are in the mountain.
One of the key points of the project was the opportunity to rethink the end of the paseo nuevo stroll. Covering the existing stairs with some skylights, the project manages to create a new plaza. Named as the Jacques Cousteau plaza, it is a
Location: Paseo Nuevo, Donostia-San Sebastián / Architecture: Angel de la Hoz, Cristina Fontán / Museistical Project: Sono. Joan Sibina Arquitectos asociados / Oceanographic Installation: Coutant Aquariums / Bokado Restaurant Interior Design: Txema García Amiano / Collaborators: Ángel Álvarez, Itziar Ugarde / M/E: Aitor Alcelay / Structure: Jose Antonio Gurruchaga / Systems: Inconor s.a. / Constructor: Construcciones Amenabar s.a. / Photography: José Hevia