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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Arts centre in La Coruña, Spain by aceboXalonso Studio

February 25th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: aceboXalonso Studio

(In the begginnig, this project’s name was Arts Centre, but nowadays it’s called MUNCYT. In fact, it became the National Museum of Science and Technology.)

This Project is the first price of an international competition to build combination of two different briefs, a Dance School and a Museum. We proposed to develop them in a single volume. This allowed us to explore the relationship between two structures that  were different in every aspect: organization, perception, expression, function and construction. Using both factors, we had the chance to add, sustract, divide, but we chose to multiply. The strange concrete form contains the school while the outer surface, the space between the form and the limit, contains the museum.

Image Courtesy Santos Diez

  • Architects: aceboXalonso Studio
  • Project: Arts centre in La Coruña
  • Location: La Coruña, Spain
  • Architects and Works directors: Ángel Alonso y Victoria Acebo
  • Competition: 2001
  • Works starts: 2003
  • End date: december 2006
  • Client: Excma. Diputación de a Coruña

Image Courtesy Santos Diez

  • Collaborators (competition): Covadonga Martinez-Peñalver, Michael Krueger
  • Collaborators (Project): Carlos Jiménez, Alejandro Prieto, Malte Eglinger, Nuria Muruais. Arquitecto, Alexandra Rebelo, Jacok Seyboth, Carlos Coscollano. Arquitecto
  • Models: Michael Rabold, Jens Rapp
  • Structural engineer: NB 35- Alejandro Bernabeu.
  • Mecanical engineer: JG ingenieros
  • Works direction collaborators: Fernando Cebrián. Architect., José Yánez. Technical architect
  • Constructión: OHL Galicia., Arturo Lombera., Ricardo Buján.


Image Courtesy Santos Diez

Dance school is developed inside a concrete structure of  boxes set on the central core and the steel façade. Each box holds an specific part of the school brief, with different specialities on each floor. The museum is set around the concrete surfaces, structured in six different heights linked by a vertical circulation; its spatial perception is simultaneous. The whole space is one, althouht the rooms are like branches on a tree, adjacent yet successive. This space will operate as a large, versatile environment where many different activities take place. For this purpose, the roof is turned into a technical floor from where the space for each exhibition is adapted. A pulley runs the length of its underside to move items and assemblies to each room.

Image Courtesy Santos Diez

The construction delves into the idea of duality. The concrete shape rests on a highly atomised steel perimeter structure wich becomes mesh-like so that the transparency can express the interior volumes. The museum texture is formed by pattern-glass and self-compacting concrete poured in wood formwork, seeking the print of natural light. These textures seeks for the fragmented perception of the surfaces; the formwork faces different directions to make the construction of the different concrete planes explicit.

Image Courtesy Marcela Grassi


The diffusive glass panels are set in changing orientations that make the most of the refraction produced by their texture, breaking down reflections and light into various facets, preventing an annoying intrusion by the buildings that surrounds the site. We used a industrial patterned glass and laminated it to a plain glass with resin, because standard lamination was not possible, due to the uneven back surface of the glass. The glass was attached to the aluminium carpentry with structural silicone. We tested the final product, glass and aluminium system, to winds of 200km/h.

Image Courtesy Marcela Grassi


We made a roof with 1000 coloured cylinders made of absorption wool. These cylinders are used on big scale industrial spaces with high mechanical noise to prevent from acoustical disease. We disposed them with 4 different colours to provoke some kind of vibrating topography. They hide the different layers that compose the technical floor: air conditioning, maintenance paths, lighting.


Image Courtesy Marcela Grassi

Nowadays the building has been refurbished to be the new National Museum of Science and technology. The old Arts Center has not even been used. The transformation has been easy, leaving the museum building as it was, but changing the interiors of the Dance school to adapt them as a new service area for the museum. Part of the central core, stairs and elevator has been removed. But it still remains the same project.

Image Courtesy Marcela Grassi


aceboXalonso was founded in 1996 by victoria acebo and angel alonso. Professors at European University of Madrid since 2002 and lecturers at universities and congress from Buenos Aires to Tokio.  The office started working on small housing projects until our first prize in the international competition for the 70.000sqm Fair Complex in Mallorca in 2000. From then on, we collect 20 different honours in competitions. Among others, we built the Centre of the Arts in Coruna, a double purpose building with museum and dance school program. It was exhibited at New York MOMA exhibition On site: architecture in Spain. This building was awarded as Best Young Architecture in Spanish Biennal, Best Light Facade at Veteco Arch Congress and selected for Mies Van Der Rohe Award. We also participate in VII and IX Mostra di Archittetura di Venezia, Tokio Design Week and several other exhibitions around the world.  More projects and news on

Image Courtesy Marcela Grassi

Image Courtesy Marcela Grassi

Victoria Alonso & Angel Acebo

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Categories: Art Gallery, Art Studio

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