ESEUS
Aldapeta 49, 20007, Donostia - San Sebastián
+34 616-369-815

THE ARCHITECT

Juan M. Otxotorena
Otxotorena Arquitectos, Pamplona
Juan M. Otxotorena

THE BUILDING

The building dates from the beginning of the 20th century and is framed by a stylistic line affiliated with regional historicism of the time which was dominated by eclecticism. The result is more than worthy, both for the elegance of the building’s exterior aspect and the quality of the interior space. It holds a characteristic image, and the manner in which it stands out against the countryside should be highlighted; with a silhouette that greatly marks the view of the city from La Concha beach.

Originally it was a single family mansion. It gives off a distinguished and emblematic air. Its design is coherent and conscientious, and tends to detail with ambition and delicacy. It develops an elaborate language but which evades excess. Great care is taken in the composition and coronation of the wall sections, crowns, transitions, and perforations, in a display of sensibility and taste: with notable abundance of moulding and ornamentation. Its interior design is associated with the prominence of a precious and powerful entryway space, which is rather large and with double height. Highly important in relative terms, it results from the opening in the volume’s central space and finishes with a large horizontal stained-glass window which provides effective lighting in its upper portion. The upper floor overlooks this

space along its entire perimeter via a balcony which produces a highly gratifying visual and functional effect. The main access is located on the axis perpendicular to this central space; and before it is found a complex marble staircase that spans the heigh between these two floors and occupies the base of the axis’ composition.

The plot adheres to the limits of volume, with the exception of its North side, where the building’s access road extends out, ascending parallel to the façade; but there, the land falls towards Cuesta de Aldapeta with a steep slope towards the beach, wooded and at times rather intricate.

THE PROJECT

The project includes the building’s renovation and the addition of a new building on the plot, with more horizontal development and built into the slope below the ground level of the first floor. This space is situated with its back against the ground, with a physical connection with the existing building, also for interior accesses and connections, in order to reduce the overall impact of the operation.

The most characteristic spaces of the existing building – grand central space, chapel, etc. – retain their use and aspect in the new complex, with special attention given to their characteristics. Likewise, other components valuable to its interior decoration and composition are to remain intact.

The exterior bay of the upper floors will have to be used for living and study rooms, common lavatories, and rooms. The basement level, in turn, will hold various technical rooms apart from an interior connection with the new space. In turn, this presents a linear structure that is eminently functional in nature. It has three floors, and completes the facility’s programme until reaching a number of around fifty student dorm rooms, all individual with full bath (sink, toilet, and shower).