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  7. Musical Studies Centre / Ensamble Studio

Musical Studies Centre / Ensamble Studio

  • 01:00 - 8 May, 2009
Musical Studies Centre / Ensamble Studio
Musical Studies Centre / Ensamble Studio

Musical Studies Centre / Ensamble Studio Musical Studies Centre / Ensamble Studio Musical Studies Centre / Ensamble Studio Musical Studies Centre / Ensamble Studio +29

  • Architects

  • Location

    Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain
  • Architects

    Ensamble Studio
  • Principal In Charge

    Antón García- Abril
  • Collaborators

    Bernardo Angelini, Eduardo Martín Asunción, Arantxa Osés, Débora Mesa, Andrés Toledo, Guillermo Sevillano
  • Quantity Surveyor

    Javier Cuesta
  • Developer

    Santiago de Compostela´s Consortium
  • Construction Management

  • Area

    1700.0 sqm
  • Project Year


From the architect. The project of the Musical Studies Center in Santiago de Compostela is located in the Vista Alegre plot of land, one of the most relevant green areas in the surroundings of the old quarter of Santiago. Described as a university park, the Vista Alegre plot of land hosts a group of buildings link to activities related to academic and research practices. Here it's possible to find the House of Europe, the Advanced Studies Center, the IDEGA (a university research center) and the Center for Musical Studies, dedicated to postgraduate studies for musical improvement, intended for the training of the Galician Orchestra musicians.

The proposal has its origins in a competition asking for the insertion of a pavilion which program demanded the development of classrooms for the education of music, with defined volumetry, highness, occupation and materials, in a non-symmetric exercise, as it is set against the pavilion built by Portela, made of the same materials and similar dimensions.

The perception of the building at different scales defines levels of comprehension. From the distance, the building lets itself fall on the land. It sticks, without any continuity, to a carpet of green grass that makes up the surface of the plot of land, cutting out its silhouette in the space of the garden in a strong definitive way, like a rock with cubic will. If we look from a middle distance point, we gaze the border, the limit that before shaped an almost perfect form, leads to the lack of definition; the trace of a broken line appears, distorting edges, and a superficial vibration of light, material and shadow fixed to a rhythm of seven parts. We move closer and the shape is broken; the pieces jump, expressing its abrasive materiality and defining holes which provide the constructive scales of the building, incisions of light that tear the facade that saw from the distance transform the hole into a shadow which talks about subtraction of mass by light in a vertical element, while the two big perforations are a direct result of the big interior volume.

The masonry granite work of the façade it's made of stones opened "on the contrary side", searching for the spontaneous natural surface of "stereomity" which allows the granite to be ripped more easy. It's a constructive system that uses techniques of drill to break the piece of stone, using as well the border sides, but in the context of a reconsideration labor of the constructive process of opening and cut off the stone. There's a search of the constructive expression of the stone, as we've learn from the history, going back to Egypt and Rome.

From the functional point of view, the acoustic requirements of the different rooms where determinant on the design. This is the reason why the spaces which require bigger acoustic needs, are linked to a big buried concrete basement, which conforms the settling of the building, the accesses and regulates the slopes of the topography. These are the bigger classrooms (auditorium, electro acoustic, percussion rooms...), capable of hosting a large number of students and eventual audience.

The upper floors are ordered "by wheels" walkable by the inner ring and which size and public character decreases the higher they get. The upper floor is dedicated to study rooms and teachers' offices.

The expression of the project comes from the contra position and duality, that in the scale, the timbre and its materials, build the space reaching complexity. The distortion, superimposed to the harmony, evokes the purity of both spatial conditions bringing about interest both in material and spatial terms. Beyond canons, the building wants to develop architectonic concepts within a simple composition and geometry, taking in the spatial resonance from the echoes of its limits, that in the outside are represented by the carballeira, the garden, the water and the Galician light, and in the interior the stone surfaces cut from the outside (or maybe they exploit from the confrontation with it), and configure the space. The aims on the project are a deeply rooted to Galicia architecture, considering its cultural and atmosphere particularities, emphasizing the memory of the place. It seems that the building was always there.

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Musical Studies Centre / Ensamble Studio" 08 May 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


Trần Minh Trung · December 28, 2016

great! This is a very impressive and inspirative musical study place.

Ornament and Crime · November 02, 2011

This will make a beautiful ruin.

ilaria defilippo · January 31, 2011

Musical Studies Centre by Ensamble Studio • #architecture #Spain #educational #stone #granite #Santiago

BJ · January 14, 2011

RT @Photography365: Musical Studies Centre / Ensamble Studio _ #architecture #photography

Booom · January 14, 2011

Musical Studies Centre / Ensamble Studio _ #architecture #photography

nishiyoshieiichi · March 19, 2010
stanley · January 26, 2010

This is really impressive. really like the facade and simplicity of design - the rest is at the background. What I don't like here, are photos. This building don't need weird presentation. This is too artistic, too complicated. I;m waiting for something more simple.

mrbad · June 06, 2009

great... nice texture..

Moore · May 12, 2009

I think the facade of architecture is sophisticated and breathtaking. The material show the way of human instinctive sense with spacial beauty. Somehow, Geometric shape with rustic face reminde me the representation of creative rhythm from the music order.

francis · May 11, 2009

I will vote for rustic all season long. The works of Ensamble Studio are definitely one to take note of. They do bold and non-apologetic architecture. If they never referenced anyone or styles, I would still look at their work and methodology with great interest. This is one of those "say what it does on the tin" kind of architecture. If 60cm and subterranean work is what it takes to buffer the elements from the interior; it does it with some style - good stuff!

felipe · May 11, 2009

que buen proyecto, me gusta mucho la honra al material, su fuerza, peso, dimension, textura, bueno, muy bueno

The Big Black &amp; White Zebr · May 09, 2009

A magnificent abstract tour de force for the most abstract of arts... what a great hewn block of a building,and...
... the material and planning have an interesting connectivity. The strength and solidity of the un-dressed granite with the deftness of interior detail.The performance and public spaces starting below ground and petering out to small rooms under the roof.
Simple duality to this building in physical form and use of space.
Great, great building.

dzahsh · May 09, 2009

Musical Studies Centre / Ensamble Studio

Tectonics · May 09, 2009

The texture is so beautiful under the strong sunlight of Spain!

GSant · May 08, 2009

nice entry to contradict the
heaviness of the "block"

George · May 08, 2009

I like the idea/execution very much! I find the hockney style photos distracting though. I think they actually make it harder to understand the interior spaces...

??? · May 08, 2009

Musical Studies Centre / Ensamble Studio:
Architects: Ensamble Studio Location: Santiago de Compostela, Spain P..

Oldesque urbanbike ! · May 08, 2009

Empilage de blocs de Granit…?!! Que nenni : Un centre d'études musicales en Espagne. Ensamble Studio architectes

Balkan · May 08, 2009

Very good. I like it!


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音乐研究中心 / Ensamble Studio