Andrew Michler

Spanish Palace’s Contemporary New Wing Sweeps Below Its Green Lawn

by , 01/06/11

green historic preservation, green historic retrofit, Human Rights Institute, neo-classical residence restoration, Palace at Aiete Park, palace restoration, San Sebastian Palace, Spanish green retrofit

By sweeping underground and opening to the daylight with a angular façade, Isuuru Architects made a workplace and visitor center that does not compete with the original palace’s sensibility. Built in the late 19th century for Spain’s royalty to escape to, the palace served as Dictator Francisco Franco’s summer retreat.  Now home to the Human Rights Institute, the expansion serves to correct not only the condition of the palace, but also the intention.

The subterranean expansion begins below the palace itself and offers office space and connectivity for the Institute’s operation on the first floor. The second floor of the restored palace serves as a public interpretation center, providing space for workshops and displays of the history and role of the facility.

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1 Comment

  1. Holcim Awards January 7, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Great intervention. Tucking the building into the landscape has so many advantages for environmental reasons as well as for respecting the historic building. Really fantastic!

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