The Chancellor and Mayor, together with the Basque Councillor for Education, Research and Universities from the Basque Government, Isabel Celaá, took part in the opening of the new Carlos Santamaria Centre on the Basque Country University Campus in the Guipuzcoan capital. The Centre hopes to "create a passion for knowledge" and represents new architecture in the "democratic and wise" Euskadi society of the future. This meeting brought together different representatives from the world of culture and politics.
The building comprises of:
Basement: It has a parking area with a capacity of 353 spaces, to which 95 spaces must be added to the ground-level surface. It also has a small warehouse with a usable surface area of 542m2, designed to hold old, little used documents and special materials.
Ground floor: On this floor is the learning support area, which has a media library, room for training users and rooms for group work. In this area is the Antonio Beristain auditorium with space to hold 202 people.
First Floor: Holds the library, with working groups rooms and booths for researchers as well as the head offices of various institutes (Basque Institute of Criminology, the University Institute of Logic, amongst others), heads of department (Head of Quality) and research groups.
The entrance is impressive with its enormous wooden beams and large windows. Although the building appears to be a single space, it is divided into two parts by an internal patio lined with wood and large fitted windows through which natural light can enter. Crossing the access door, on the ground floor, there is a spacious entrance hall which leads to an exhibition room and the auditorium, which will be named after Antonio Beristain, the founder of the Basque Institute of Criminology.
The Centre boasts a surface area of 16,600 square metres, 8,000 of which are taken up by the new library. The Centre will be an iconic building in the Basque Country University.
According to the Vice Chancellor, the new facilities seek to change the centre into "a hub for research into Social Sciences, Humanitaties and Legal Sciences"