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May 27, 2022

BIG’s design chosen for Gastronomy Open Ecosystem in Spain

Gastronomy Open Ecosystem will bring researchers, chefs, and food start-ups under one roof.

Danish architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group’s (BIG) design has been chosen for the Gastronomy Open Ecosystem (GOe), an extension of the Basque Culinary Centre in San Sebastián, Spain.

BIG’s design for GOe was selected from among various high-profile architects, including OMA, Snøhetta, 3XN, and Toyo Ito & Associates.

The 9,000m² GOe will bring food start-ups, researchers, and chefs under one roof.

Lying between the edge of San Sebastián and mount Ulia, in a terrain with a 10m height difference, the GOe building will gently rise from the ground floor. It will make use of the height difference to improve the current park qualities while creating links with the adjacent Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route and the Cantabrian Sea. 

GOe is set back to create a covered public plaza at the street level.

The building will rise to provide a series of terraces and recessed windows that can showcase the activity in kitchens, labs, and classes to passersby.

The winning design features a central space that runs up from the ground floor to all the way to the roof by way of a grand staircase, which serves as a promenade and links all levels within the building. It also doubles as an amphitheatre for events and lectures.

The building will also feature an auditorium, public terraces, open classrooms, laboratories, kitchens, and a restaurant.

BIG founder Bjarke Ingels said: “Conceived as an architectural extension of the dramatic landscape and cityscape of San Sebastián, our proposed design liberates the ground and provides parks on the roof to invite the public life of the city to engage with the art and science of gastronomy.

“Located on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, we believe that this architectural fusion of gastronomy and technology, city and landscape, building and park has the potential to become a destination in its own right for culinary pilgrims from around the world.”

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