Located in the Spanish city of San Sebastian, the San Telmo Museum has been undergoing an extensive renovation that includes some fantastic green ideas. As a joint effort between Nieto Sobejano Architects and the artists Leopoldo Ferrán and Agustina Otero, the 16th century structure now features a modern building extension and green wall. In an attempt to blend the new building site with the surrounding environment of the Urgull Mount, which stands behind it, a unique perforated recycled aluminum façade was skillfully designed and constructed.
The San Telmo Museum was originally a convent, and the team of architects in charge of the renovation worked towards respecting its primitive shapes and original looks. First opened in 1902, the building is San Sebastian’s historic reference, and now features a cutting-edge sustainable façade. Designed as a link between the urban and the natural environment and with the magnificent Urgull Mount standing behind it, the new section also holds three of the museum’s new rooms inside and has an exterior set of stairs up that lead into the wild.
Inspired by the local lichen and moss proliferating on rocks, the wall features uneven angled holes allowing vegetation to grow organically and free. Made from more than 3,500 recycled cast aluminum panels mounted on iron frames, the colander-looking façade uses the latest construction technology designed by the company Proiek. But San Telmo Museum’s wall stands out from normal green walls, as the vegetation is an invited to emerge and grow freely from it.