After Much Delay, Santander’s Centro Botín Will Open in June

The Spanish art center, designed by Renzo Piano, was originally slated to open in 2014.

The Centro Botín in Santander, Spain. Photo Gerardo Vela, courtesy Fundación Botín.
The Centro Botín in Santander, Spain. Photo Gerardo Vela, courtesy Fundación Botín.

Yesterday, the much-anticipated Centro Botín in Santander, Spain, announced that it will open its doors to the public on June 23, with a host of exhibitions featuring artists ranging from Francisco de Goya to Carsten Höller.

The museum—which was originally slated to open in 2014—has been designed by Centre Pompidou architect Renzo Piano.

The 10,285-square-meter building features an exhibition area of 2,500 square meters, a 300-seat auditorium, educational spaces, a roof terrace with a view of the coastline, and a restaurant that will be run by the Michelin-starred chef Jesús Sánchez.

The center boasts an ambitious and ornate architecture, sitting directly on a prime spot on the city’s waterfront, complexities which led to a long delay in its opening date of almost three years.

Centro Botín. Photo Gerardo Vela, courtesy Fundación Botín.

Centro Botín. Photo Gerardo Vela, courtesy Fundación Botín.

The inaugural exhibitions include a show of 80 drawings by Goya; the first exhibition in Spain of works by Höller; and an outdoor sculptural intervention by Cristina Iglesias, made of water and steel.

There will also be a show of pieces from the Fundación Botín permanent collection, which includes works by Lara Almarcegui, Miroslav Balka, Carlos Garaicoa, Mona Hatoum, and Juan Uslé.

The exhibition program is developed by Fundación Botín’s Visual Arts Advisory Committee, helmed by its President, Vicente Todolí, former director of London’s Tate Modern; and Benjamin Weil, artistic director of Centro Botín.

The museum will also host the Fundación Botín’s program of workshops, which sees established artists—like Joan Jonas, Julie Mehretu, and Tacita Dean—mentor young artists at the start of their careers; as well as the foundation’s long-term educational scheme in conjunction with Yale University.

“Building on our work in the community over the last 50 years, our vision for Centro Botín is to be one of Spain’s leading arts centers; a lively welcoming place for people to enjoy themselves, learn and become inspired, and an engine for generating economic, social and cultural wealth for the region of Cantabria and northern Spain,” Iñigo Sáenz de Miera, director general of the Fundación Botín said in a statement.


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