ARCHITECTS | 15 December 2010 :: Oscar Niemeyer’s 103rd Birthday ::: Part 3 > Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Centre, Avilés

The second project to be inaugurated on Niemeyer’s 103rd birthday was not built without controversy and some internecine rivalry between competing towns in Asturias, a depressed region of Spain, all wanting to cash in on the “Bilbao Effect” (see top link, below, for the full story).

Whether or not Avilés (huh?) will experience a boom in tourism remains to be seen. It does, however, have the distinction now of having the largest Niemeyer complex in Europe.

As far as the architecture is concerned, I’m not fully convinced that this is amongst Niemeyer’s best works. But, with architecture, it’s always unfair to judge before seeing with one’s own eyes, so I guess another pilgrimage is in order …

Elements of the Centro Cultural Internacional Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Centre remind me of Erich Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff’s 1935 De La Warr Pavilion, arguably the first modernist building in Britain, in Bexhill-by-Sea. And that’s a good thing. The Modern Era lives!

The complex stands on a 44,000-square-metre site owned by Avilés city council and the Avilés Port Authority.

It consists of four buildings linked by a grand plaza overlooking the Ria de Avilés and the city: a 4,000-square-metre exhibition space with a 20-metre-high dome; a wave-shaped auditorium with a unique reversible stage that can be turned to face the plaza; a tower with a luxe restaurant; and a multi-purpose wing housing a cinema, rehearsal spaces, meeting rooms and conference halls.




The inauguration of two buildings — the Centro Niemeyer in Avilés and the Oscar Niemeyer Foundation in Niterói — on the same day … has any architect had that honour before?


»Creating a Landmark« – 58-page supplement to La Voz de Avilés, features the staircase of the dome PHOTO > José Manuel Ballester

Click the screenshot below to access a PDF of the supplement:

ABOVE > »A World of Supporters« (left to right): Yo-Yo, Kevin, Youssou, Brad, Vinton Cerf, and Woody

FOTO > © coconcia, Flickr

The Art Newspaper | Is Avilés ready for “the Niemeyer effect”? Its backers range from Brad Pitt to Stephen Hawking, but can a new arts centre in northern Spain really replicate the success of the Guggenheim Bilbao?

The Art Newspaper | INTERVIEW > “The architect’s role is to fight for a better world…

Arquine | INTERVIEW > La invención y la sorpresa: Conversación con Oscar Niemeyer

aspexdesign | B+W Photographs of the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea

Wikipedia |De La Warr Pavilion

Wikipedia | Óscar Niemeyer International Cultural Centre

El Comercio Digital | The Niemeyer shows the world her curves

El Comercio Digital | Especial Centro Niemeyer

Centro Niemeyer | Project photographs by Nardo Villaboy

Flickr | Curvas Brasileñas en Avilés, a Flickr Gallery by aplicacao1975

Brangelina Forum | Brad Pitt at Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Center in Aviles, Spain – 31 August 2009

designKULTUR | ARCHITECTS | Rio de Janeiro 2010.09.10 :: Oscar Niemeyer Receives the Spanish Order of Arts and Letters

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