Aquarium of San Sebastian | Hoz Fontan Arquitectos

• November 22, 2010

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.

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Aquarium of San Sebastian, image courtesy Hoz Fontan Arquitectos

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Aquarium of San Sebastian, image courtesy Hoz Fontan Arquitectos

Divided in two parts, the built-in facilities in the last years were developed in contiguous spaces to the mount, whereas the exhibition area was located at a building in intense contact with the sea. Despite their inner connection, they were divided by the stairs which connect the two levels of one of the most important strolls of the city, the ‘Paseo Nuevo’, which lost integrity when arriving to the surrounding area of the Aquarium, turning into just simple stairs that connected with the port.

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Aquarium of San Sebastian - SECTIONS, drawing courtesy Hoz Fontan Arquitectos

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Aquarium of San Sebastian, image courtesy Hoz Fontan Arquitectos

The facilities acquired in the last years would had to be redefined, the building that shelters the exhibition completely renewed, a public elevator should connect the two levels of the new stroll and a new restaurant would have to be constructed in the present building’s cover.

The applied strategy uses the program’s peripheral components to optimize the internal functioning of the museistical institution. The restaurant constructed in the present building’s cover, guarantees the operativity of the Aquarium during the construction, and at the same time defines a square where the new stroll acts as a viewing-point on La Concha Bay.

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Aquarium of San Sebastian, image courtesy Hoz Fontan Arquitectos

The public elevator will be part of the colonization of the lower parts that surround the Aquarium as spaces of transit management, which makes possible a total reframing of the internal circulations of the building, and thus, of the museistical experience.

AQUARIUM Hoz Fontan plusMOOD GROUND FLOOR 595x394 Aquarium of San Sebastian | Hoz Fontan Arquitectos

Aquarium of San Sebastian - GROUND FLOOR PLAN, drawing courtesy Hoz Fontan Arquitectos

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Aquarium of San Sebastian - 1ST FLOOR PLAN, drawing courtesy Hoz Fontan Arquitectos

AQUARIUM Hoz Fontan plusMOOD SECOND FLOOR 595x394 Aquarium of San Sebastian | Hoz Fontan Arquitectos

Aquarium of San Sebastian - 2ND FLOOR PLAN, drawing courtesy Hoz Fontan Arquitectos

AQUARIUM Hoz Fontan plusMOOD PURBAN 595x394 Aquarium of San Sebastian | Hoz Fontan Arquitectos

Aquarium of San Sebastian - 3RD FLOOR PLAN, drawing courtesy Hoz Fontan Arquitectos

+ Project credits / data

Project: Aquarium of San Sebastian
Location: San Sebastian, Spain
Program: Culture | Aquarium

Architecture: Hoz Fontan Arquitectos | http://www.hozfontanarquitectos.com/
Project directors: Angel de la Hoz, Cristina Fontan
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

+ All images, drawings and description courtesy Hoz Fontan Arquitectos | Photo by José Hevia

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Category: Architecture, Culture, Selected