Openings Museums Spain

Zaragoza stacks up with new CaixaForum

A dramatic culture centre opened this weekend in the north-eastern Spanish city

The dramatic new space in the capital of Aragon

An dramatic architectural landmark—two large concrete and aluminium cubes towering above a transparent glass base—opened its doors to the public this weekend in the north-eastern Spanish city of Zaragoza. The building is Spain’s seventh CaixaForum, one of a string of cultural centres financed by La Caixa, the foundation of the Barcelona-based savings bank.

The CaixaForum Zaragoza includes temporary exhibition spaces inside each cube: one measures 780 sq. m and the other 438 sq. m. On Saturday, the centre opened with two contemporary art shows drawn mainly from La Caixa's collection, with works by Antoni Tàpies, Miquel Barceló, Eduardo Chillida, Jeff Wall, Sophie Calle and Willie Doherty. The building also includes a 300-person underground auditorium and a terrace restaurant on the top floor.

Designed by the Catalan architect Carme Pinós, the €20m cultural centre has been completed in less than four years and is expected to receive around 300,000 visitors a year. Zaragoza has been investing in cultural developments in recent years, including a Zaha Hadid-designed bridge and pavilion for the 2008 Expo demonstrates. Besides the Museo de Zaragoza, which has a fine archaeology and art collection, the city also boasts the Aragon Institute of Contemporary Art and Culture Pablo Serrano, which in May became the permanent home of 1,200 works from the collection of the local arts patron Pilar Citoler.

The CaixaForum Zaragoza includes temporary exhibition spaces inside each cube
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