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Altamira National Museum and Research Centre building

  • Entrance to the National Altamira Museum. Santillana del Mar © Ministerio de Cultura

    Entrance to the National Altamira Museum. Santillana del Mar © Ministerio de Cultura

  

Category

Architecture and civil engineering

Date

2001

Style

Contemporary
39330 Santillana del Mar
Cantabria
Cantabria

The prehistoric cave of Altamira can today be seen in replica in this adjoining building designed by the architect Navarro Baldeweg, which additionally houses a museum, a research centre and various other services.

This museum complex consists of a minimalist-style building, perfectly integrated into the natural surroundings, and at a distance of about 200 metres from the original cave. Its considerable size adapts to the sides of the mountain by means of successive levels with retaining walls made of golden stone masonry work, with the contrasting façade built of natural stone blocks.
It is divided into two clearly differentiated areas, and its exterior appearance is of a series of grassed terraces with skylights to provide illumination. Small carved steps provide access to the pathways and terraces connecting these two areas.
The interior features a series of ingenious technical solutions to recreate the cave of Altamira, in the replica known as the Neocave.
 

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