Manuel Gallego combines his architectural creation with his job as professor at the Architecture school of A Coruña. Teaching is one of his main and most recognised influences.
Awarded the National Prize for Architecture in 1997, Manuel Gallego is considered to be one of the stars of radical architecture in Spain. His rational buildings are conceived as sculptural expressions and they create their own environment, starting from open spaces to connect elements of architecture and nature.
Concerned about a site as the support for history, Gallego adapts to the circumstances and assumes different roles according to the needs, and so he may range form an approach to the autonomy of landscape (Instituto de Investigación, in Compostela) to a direct dialogue with the territory (Presidential Complex in Compostela), passing through intermediate essays with greater creative freedom (Museum of Sacred art at the Colexiata de Santa María, in A Coruña).
Proposta para a Cidade da Cultura
An ensemble of sites for research capable of provoking interaction and exchange of ideas, of disseminating and collecting information with the purpose of creating and expanding cultural production ought to be an open structure that may facilitate such activities, receiving and generating information flows, which actions must undergo changing concentrations in different areas of the ensemble.
The rotundity and abstraction of the complex must approach Santiago with sensitivity. It ought to fit on the hill, into its topography, understood as a concrete location that imposes its rules, which ought to be in accordance and sensitive while modelling the space, producing architecture.
The historic city of Santiago is located on a hill opposite the site. From such a viewpoint it becomes present, appearing naturally behind the hill, whose slopes are transformed into a terraced garden. Two roofed walkways (mechanised) appear accompanying a pathway with stone steps. Pathways, almost stone buildings in themselves, conforming small plazas and miradors that provide signposting to enable pedestrian access.
On the Western slope facing Santiago, the grand façade of the ensemble, with terraces where heather, gorse, broom and hawthorn grow and bloom in different colours and seasons, mainly in reds, whites and yellows to make up a grand, multicoloured tapestry.