The distinctive concrete volumes of this museum of regional history and art in Santander, Spain, evoke the peaks of the nearby Cantabrian Mountains. In the design, the mountain chain is transformed into buildings with abstract geometries, which double as large light wells to diffuse natural light into the galleries below. Represented through digital collages that resemble traditional engravings, the museum is shown silhouetted against elements of its context but also punctuated by the figure of the influential German artist Joseph Beuys (1921–1986). While the building’s uncanny resemblance to its site reveals architecture’s metaphoric capabilities, Beuys’s presence demonstrates the ability of collage to juxtapose diverse cultural references, akin to the architects’ intentions for their museum.
Gallery label from Cut ‘n‘ Paste: From Architectural Assemblage to Collage City, July 10–December 1, 2013.