Centro Cultural Principado de Asturias
“A place for education, culture and peace.”
The Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Center, Ariles, Spain is a cultural complex designed by the late, world-renowned architect Oscar Niemeyer. Positioned on the banks of the Estuary of Aviles, opposite Asturias’ industrial area, the Cultural Center was the first step towards a large-scale urban regeneration process. Niemeyer’s project was the first and most prominent part of the Island of Innovation. The site was inaugurated on March 26th of 2011, and featured a jazz concert hosting more than 10,000 people.
The center is composed of five elements:
1) The Open Square is an expansive outdoor area intended to provide open-air space for cultural activities.
2) The Auditorium seats 1,000 for concerts, theatrical performances, and conferences, and there are no spacial divisions delineated for segregating socio-economic classes. The auditorium also includes “The Club”, which is a room for smaller gatherings, as well as an exhibition room in the foyer.
3) The Dome is a spacious exhibition building.
4) The Tower contains a restaurant where famous chefs share their techniques, and a cocktail lounge offering exceptional views of the surrounding area.
5) The Multi-Purpose building contains the film center, meeting rooms, café, gift shop, and information center.
The predominately concrete and glass structures of the cultural center reflect the distinctive features of Oscar’s work with their curves and colors. The primary colors black, white, red, yellow, and blue denote the iconic neoplasticism in Oscar Niemeyer’s work.
“Here is what I wanted to tell you of my architecture. I created it with courage and idealism, but also with an awareness of the fact that what is important is life, friends, and attempting to make this unjust world a better place in which to live.”
The five elements of the cultural center compliment each other with balance and function in such a way that their arrangement is also balanced like a painting.
Oscar had a great affection for curves:
“I was attracted by the curve – the liberated, sensual curve suggested by the possibilities of new technology yet so often recalled in venerable old baroque churches.”
Niemeyer designed the 50-meter high Tower with the intention of giving visitors the advantage of a panoramic view of the surrounding area.
The aesthetics of the curvaceous work suggest movement and demand the attention of passers-by.
Vibrantly colored murals placed around the cultural center elicit emotions of excitement.
Interplay of curves and light lend allusions to the natural world in a distinctively man made environment.
Theatre seating with vaulted ceilings allows large cultural gatherings to take place in an atmosphere with generous dimensions.