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Tenerife Espacio de las Artes

In October 2008, the Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (TEA) di Santa Cruz was inaugurated on the island of Tenerife. With its 20,000 m² of floor space, the TEA is primarily a cultural infrastructure with a clear contemporary vocation of bringing together different types of art in one place; but it is also, and no less, a fragment of urban fabric connecting the old world and the new in the city centre.

Architects Herzog & De Meuron had the idea of combining a series of diagonal elements and sloping floors with a ramp of steps, by way of which the public can gain access to the building. The geometric architectural elements favour exposure to the world outside, bringing dynamism and brightness, even after dark, when artificial light passes through the irregular openings in the wall and out toward the city. The structure houses art collections, temporary exhibition galleries, an auditorium, the Tenerife Photography Centre, the Óscar Domínguez Institute, and a Library (part of the island’s library network), as well as a cafeteria, restaurant and shop.

The main feature of this building is the profusion of small glazed openings spread across the entire shell. More exactly, there are 1200 of these windows, in 720 different shapes and sizes. The idea was inspired by the pixellation of a digital image picturing reflections of sunlight on the ocean waters of the Canary Islands.

The preparation of the concrete frontages, punctuated with pixel-like perforations that provide the building with a truly singular type of lighting, serves both to enable a unique distribution of natural light admitted during the daytime, and produce a magical radiation of artificial light from interior to exterior at night- time. iGuzzini was involved in the design of the lighting system, providing expert advice and supplying products to meet the many different requirements presented by the different areas( The exterior is illuminated by recessed Linealuce fixtures, which adapt to the architecture with minimal visual impact, ensuring a suffused and uniform glow; recessed Light Up Walk fixtures installed at floor level guarantee maximum visual comfort; MaxiWoody and Light Up Walk Professional spots are positioned at the end of the ramp, tracing atmospheric trails of light. Inside the library, fluorescent Lineup fixtures create the ideal indirect lighting for reading and browsing, whereas the exhibition halls are equipped with special products (fluorescent strips). The permanent exhibition room is lit by a mixture of Tecnica spots and floods and Le Perroquet pendants which, thanks to their ease of directional adjustment, can be used both to pick out individual features and, when fitted with a diffuser, to provide uniform lighting for vertical surfaces, functioning effectively as wall washers.

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  • Year
  • Client
    Cabildo Insular de Tenerife Santa Cruz de Tenerife
  • Architectural project:
    Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, David Koch
  • Lighting project:
    Ove Arup
  • Structural engineering:
    TECHNE Ingeniería y Arquitectura
  • Construction OHL S.A., Santa Cruz de Tenerife Associate Architect Virgilio Gutiérrez Herreros Architectural planning Herzog & De Meuron Virgilio Gutiérrez Herreros
  • Photographer
    José Oller, Iwan Baan