Outside town, and beneath the overhang of the wall facing the River Duero, the museum presents itself to the town as a coffer containing its jewels, its memory. The museum is like a trunk that has been cut of one single stroke, in which a host of skylights with the same cross-section define various spaces through their different positions, heights and orientations. The museum is organized as a tour through the remains of history, taking a Celtiberian votive stele exhibited in the museum as its formal reference.
The structure is accommodated inside a cubic block of strong outline. A range of topographical outcrops and buildings of different sorts surrounding the building reinforce this impression. The complex disavows an axial academic composition, its overall quality leaning towards an architecture which is produced via a slippage between its various components, thus breaking up its overall appearance and forcing people to walk between the buildings, almost touching them, in such a way that the interstices between the volumes and the rock enhance the buildings per se.
TECHNICAL DATA. Location: Plaza de Santa Lucía, Zamora, Spain. Architects: Luis M. Mansilla and Emilio Tuñón. Client: Ministry of Culture. Collaborators: Andrés Regueiro, María Linares, Fernando García-Pino, Josefa Blanco y María Ochoa. Structural engineers: Alfonso Gómez Gaite. Mechanical engineers: J.G. Asociados. Quantity Surveyor/Technical Architect: Santiago Hernán. Completion date: 1996. Built area: 3.000 m2. Main contractor: FCC Construcción. Photographer: Luis Asín