The Leaders visited the Botín Centre during the day that they spent discovering sustainable urban development projects in Santander. This is a project that has reclaimed land to encourage economic and social growth through the creation of a centre to host cultural activities. The Leaders expressed their admiration for the project, which is ground-breaking from an architectural point of view as well as for its functionality once it becomes operative.
Fátima Sánchez Santiago, Executive Director of the Botín Centre, welcomed the participants in the Programme. During her presentation, she detailed the project’s innovative features, including a shift away from the concept of museums of the 20th century, which are aimed at foreign visitors. The Botín Centre, on the other hand, is positioned as a meeting point in the city centre, using arts and culture to transform life in Santander. In order to do so, as Fátima Sánchez explained, the Botín Foundation works together with Yale University to create activities, workshops, courses and educational activities.
The architectural space created to host the centre is yet another pillar of the project. Designed by prestigious architect Renzo Piano, it consists of two buildings linked with footbridges and a multi-purpose area of squares, amphitheatre and gardens which connect to the city centre and the bay. Built in glass and stainless steel and elevated from the ground in order not to break the coastline, the buildings accommodate exhibition rooms, an amphitheatre and multifunctional rooms. The main appeal of the two buildings will be the fact that they will be covered with 280,000 ceramic tiles reflecting light differently depending on the time of day.
The work of the Botín Foundation and this project were very attractive to the Indian visitors, who took an interest in the differences from the Guggenheim Museum. The clearly local character of this project is its main added value, with its programming clearly aimed at the people in the city and not at tourists.
Fátima Sánchez explained how the Botín Centre demonstrates the importance of joint efforts between different public and private institutions. Puertos del Estado (the Spanish Ports Authority), Santander City Council and the Botín Foundation have validated every aspect of the project jointly.
After the visit to the Botín Centre construction site, the group of participants in the Council Foundation programme enjoyed a tourist visit to the Palace of La Magdalena. Located in a peninsula by the same name and one of the most visible landmarks in Santander, this is a Royal Palace which combines tradition and modernity, with an imposing, monumental outer look and modern facilities. It is used for university courses during the summer and the celebration of major events the rest of the year.
5th Indian Leaders Programme report.
Indian Leaders profiles.
More images in the Gallery.
Photo gallery of the tourist visit to the Palace of La Magdalena.