The already well known sweeping curves of the Niemeyer center represent this great architect’s signature but unlike most of his projects, this one was decorated with a splash of color.
The cultural center occupying 178,950-square-foot contains four structures which together form the plaza: a 961-person auditorium, a domed open-plan museum, a lookout tower, and a multipurpose building that houses a theater, meeting and conference rooms. The project overlooking the estuary of Ria de Avilés is part of larger scale initiative that means to revitalize the city’s industrial port. It is the only design by Oscar Niemeyer in Spain: “I am an architect and, as such, what I do is design buildings and that is just what I am going to do; design a building.”
The design began from a few sketches made with black marker; this is the point where an architect is truly free, where there are no constraints and the act of creation is at its best. The building does not impress through its complexity but through the simple shapes that gave birth to the volumes forming the modernist building which, along with the bright red and yellow create an outstanding composition.
Centro Cultural Internacional:
„The Niemeyer Center was created to attract talent, knowledge and creativity. From this point of view, not only will it be a gateway to the best of the world’s culture, but also a producer of contents. Since the celebration of the First World Forum of Cultural Centres in Avilés the Niemeyer Center has worked in connection with some of the most prestigious cultural centres throughout the world, such as the Carnegie Hall, the Old Vic Theatre and Cannes Film Festival, among others.
Facilities and Spaces The Niemeyer Center is the only piece of work created by Oscar Niemeyer to be built in Spain and, in his own words, it will be the most important of all his European designs.
Driven by the same healthy ambition, the Niemeyer Center aims to become an international reference point in the production of cultural content; a space associated with excellence dedicated to education and culture. In order to accomplish this, the cultural complex will consist of five areas which are both separate yet complementary to each other:
An auditorium with capacity for 1,000 spectators.
An almost 4,000 square meter open-plan exhibition site.
Viewing point over the estuary and the city.
Multi-use building that will house a cinema, rehearsal areas and meeting and conference halls.
An open square, where entertainment and cultural activities will be programmed on a continuous basis, which will form a point of union between the Center and the city.”
This project demonstrates that a simple idea and a simple design can be a thing of beauty and that complex shapes and forms are not always needed to obtain iconic architecture.
Image courtesy to: Oscar Niemeyer
Location: Avilés, Spain
Completion Date: March 2011
Owner: Principado de Asturias
Total construction cost: €44 million
Architect: Oscar Niemeyer