Calatrava in the Canary Islands

When I visited the Canary Islands last week, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a lovely example of Santiago Calatrava’s architecture: the Auditorio de Tenerife “Adan Martin” in Santa Cruz.

The Auditorio is a concert hall and home to the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife. The monumental construction is beautifully set against the Atlantic Ocean and really shines under the spring sun of the Canaries. At first sight it reminded me of an Elven helmet. Looking more closely at the sketched by Calatrava, the inside of the building is a study for the human eye.

Scetch Auditorio de Tenerife by Calatrava

Birds eye view Auditorio de Tenerife

The building was constructed between 1991 and 2003. It has become an architectural symbol of the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and is considerd one of Calatrava’s signature buildings in Spain. In 2008 Spain included the Auditorio in a series of architectural stamps and issued a €5 coin.

Stamp Auditorio de Tenerife

Coin Auditorio de Tenerife

When approaching the building I was stunned by the reflection of the sun on it’s base. The base is covered with white Trencadís, broken white ceramics, that were used by modernist Spanish architects. The roof is made of concrete which is is perfectly suited for the climate of the Canary Islands. Better than the station of Liège-Guillemins (Belgium), that suffers from the industrial pollution in the air and less attractive climate.

Originally the building was named “Auditorio de Tenerife”. In 2011 “Adán Martin” was added to it’s name in memory of the driving force behind it’s construction, president Adán Martin Menis.

Inside you can find a museum café and the ticketing office in the main hall.


The mechanism for opening the entrance to the main hall is very clever, the windows/doors are turned up and thus enable the light to flow into the main hall with abundance


But enough context for now, here are a few more pictures:


Street Address
Av. de la Constitución 1, 38003 Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

Write your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s