Museo do mar de Galicia

Av. da Atlántida, 160, 36208 Vigo, Pontevedra, Spain

Former Use: Cannery (first) and slaughterhouse (second)
New Use: Museum
Category: Industrial Museum
Reuse Architect: César Portela y Aldo Rossi
Construction year(s): - 1887
Reuse year(s): 1992 - 2002


The Galician Museum of the Sea was designed by the Galician architect César Portela and the Italian architect and Pritzker Prize winner Aldo Rossi. The construction of the museum was carried out by Portela after Rossi's death. The structure of the museum is based on the one used in the old Alcabre cannery, and was modified, incorporating major extensions to the initial design. The museum consists of three buildings: the main building and an annex accessible via a walkway, an aquarium and a cafeteria-restaurant. There is also a free car park for visitors, a lighthouse with a metal structure and a breakwater. At the entrance there is a small cobbled walkway, flanked by two rows of trees, and on one side of it there is a polychrome mural, designed by Francisco de Sales Covelo and interpreted by Isaac Díaz Pardo at the factory of the Real Fábrica de Sargadelos in 2003.

The building has worldwide recognition and prestige as a great architectural work, receiving visits from architecture students from different countries. In 2005 the building was awarded the Philippe Rotthier prize for architecture.

The Museum's 14,000 square metre complex of buildings is, in the architect's own words:
"... a constellation of sites that makes it possible for each visitor to find 'their own', always accompanied by the colour, the sound, the essence..., the mystery of the sea, always having as a reference the line of the horizon or, at sunset, the lights of the lighthouses of Cabo Home, Cabo Silleiro, the Cíes Islands, Monte de la Guía, or the innumerable strategically placed beacons that delimit the paths of the sea.... A fortunate encounter between logical architecture, beautiful art and happy nature".

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Added on 2021-10-08 by editor Jesús Balado Frías