Kursaal Auditorium and Convention Centre, Spain

Rafael Moneo,

Auditorium, Bar, Sport & Wellness,


First built in 1921 as a casino, the Kurssal symbolised the carefree town of San Sebastiàn in the "belle èpoque". It was demolished in 1972 after years of different uses since 1924, when Spain passed a law against gambling.
In 1989 Rafael Moneo won an international competition. In 1995 the site was opened and after four years of work, the complex was inaugurated on August 23, 1999.

Kursaal Auditorium and Convention Centre, Spain The metal structure of the cubes supports a double wall of glass.

The two translucent solids change in appearance continually, from two solid masses of ice reflecting the sunlight to two sources of light reflected on the water at night. Glass was chosen to adapt the structure to its environmental conditions, as the building is almost always lapped by the salt water of the sea.

These abstract, "rigid" masses hide a world of flexible spaces ready to host a variety of activities. The interior design employs materials and colours which transmit "marine" sensations, almost like being in a boat.

The only contact with the outside is through a window in the foyer. This strong gesture is an example helping us to see how "The Kursaal reflects San Sebastiàn's eternal love affair with the sea" (R.Moneo)

Shira Brand

3-D visione del centro


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