Auditorio de Tenerife “Adán Martín” – Santa Cruz


Auditorio de Tenerife “Adán Martín” (often referred to as Auditorio de Santa Cruz) was designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava Valls and is located on the coast at Santa Cruz the capital of Tenerife. The construction took six years and was completed in 2003. I visited the island in May of 2006.

There are definitely some better pictures out there of this amazing building however many rely on aerial shots to impress the viewer rather than inform as to the decoration of the exterior. In interview Calatrava Valls has said that one of his icons of architecture is Antoni Gaudí, a fellow Spaniard and a leader in Catalan Modernism, and this building is covered with ceramic shards that as you will see results in giving the elevations an increased fluidity and lightness very similar to Gaudí. This is not plagiarism but an honest reference to a master of style in architecture. It is both form and function.
The structure reminds me variously of molluscs, the frightening maw of a giant sea creature, the wings of sea birds, millionaires yachts, harbour quay-sides and nuns wimples (maybe that should be mantillas). All these references for me help to seat the building comfortably in its environment. As can be seen elsewhere, it appears as though it has been surrounded by an ‘ice floe’ of crazy paving and is desperate to get into the wider ocean of the Atlantic.
Some casual observers have seen similarities between this construction and the Sydney Opera House by architect Jorn Utzon and  comparison is understandable even if misguided. Each are great works and to compare them is akin to comparing Jean Paul Gaultier to John Galliano because they design nice frocks! Each are unique in their own way but can not avoid similarities because of the shared vocation and similar inspirational locations. Whatever your opinion it demands your attention.

Click on any thumbnail for gallery.

Adán Martín Menis (19 October 1943 – 10 October 2010) was president of the Canary Islands (Spain) from July 2003 until 2007.
Menis was born in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. He was an industrial engineer and represented the Canarian Coalition party.
Menis was elected president in the autonomous elections of 2003.
He has also served as mayor of Santa Cruz de Tenerife from 1979 to 1987, the minister of public works in the island council of Tenerife from 1982 to 1986, a national deputy from 1993 to 1996, vice-president of the Canary Islands and president of the island of Tenerife from 1987 to 1999.
(Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad%C3%A1n_Mart%C3%ADn_Menis)

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