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Caixa Galicia façade. Copyright: César Fernández; Caixa Galicia façade. Copyright: César Fernández;

Caixa Galicia Foundation, La Coruña

A modern centre for arts and culture in a historic city quarter.

Caixa Galicia Foundation, in northern Spain, is a 5,500m2 art and cultural centre to host and promote the collection of the Caixa Galicia, a Spanish bank.

Arup was responsible for the concept, scheme and detailed design. The firm provided site supervision of structural engineeringmechanical and electrical services, façade engineering, communications, fire engineering, security systems, vertical transportation and acoustics.

Engineering challenges

The challenge for Arup was to engineer a modern, technologically-advanced building which could be constructed on a restricted site in an historic city quarter.

The building links public gardens in front with a network of streets and alleys behind. An internal glazed ‘street’, which functions as an atrium, gives visitors views into the galleries and down into a double-height foyer of a basement auditorium.

The project was awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Award in 2006 for its high architectural standards and contribution to the local environment.

The building features a glazed internal ‘street’, glass bridges, inclined panoramic elevators, column-free exhibition galleries and a 300-seat auditorium. The structure comprises seven floors of superstructure and four basement levels.

Audio-visual, IT and security

The foundation building incorporates state-of-the-art audio-visual and interactive IT technology to enhance the visitor experience, including a 75m² projection screen on the façade, informing the public of exhibitions and events.

The Caixa Galicia Foundation has been designed to be protected with the latest security systems including physical and electronic measures such as CCTV, access control and intruder detection – complemented by specialist systems for gallery exhibit protection.