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Santa Teresa Convent, San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain
Year 1991

    Santa Teresa Convent, San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain

    Project 1983-1991

    Creating an austere but comfortable atmosphere was of the utmost importance. A ‘dwelling’, as Teresian Sisters would call it, whose rooms are all functional but also boasts the meditation areas essential for a permanent retreat. The isolation and the views of San Sebastian bay make it a privileged place.  A structural problem existed, as most of the convent rooms occupy the empty space of an old attic located on top of the church.

    Several parabolic arches were designed; they were made of laminated wood and leaned on the perimeter walls. Two floors of cells, which were covered later, were hanged from the walls with the aim of creating an atmosphere defined only by dim light. The library occupies the central area and is bathed in zenith light. The remaining rooms are partly set in the ancient quarters of the convent. Therefore, a new entrance atrium was designed. Only the new glazed balcony of the cells, which overlooks La Concha beach, enables spotting the transformation from outdoors.

    Author: José Ignacio Linazasoro
    Collaborator: L. Sesé