A place to enjoy art, landscape and architecture
On April 17th this year, the famous Chillida Leku park in Hernani, close to San Sebastian in the basque country, reopened its doors to the general public. After a little over eight years of restricted access, this opening is the fruit of an agreement between the Chillida family, the Swiss gallery Hauser & Wirth and some local sponsors.
Chillida leku is a very particular place that gets its unique character from the very interesting combination of art, architecture and landscape. In the eighties Eduardo Chillida and his wife decided to buy this area of 11 ha with an old Basque farmhouse from the XVIth century in the center. The idea to create a place (Basque “leku”) for his artwork led to an interior adaption of the farmhouse to the current exhibition space. The original project was designed by the local architect Joaquin Montero Basqueseux and first opened to the public in September 2000. The recent adaption in relation to the reopening was made by the French architect Luis Laplace.
Reopening of Chillida Leku
The indoor exhibition space is partly fixed and partly temporary, includes didactic explications and has been opened this year with the exhibition: “Eduardo Chillida Ecos”. In the surrounding landscape park around 40 sculptures by Chillida are shown to the public – showing pieces from all different phases of the artist’s career.
The entrance pavilion – formed by two small black volumes, was planned by Joaquin Montero Basqueseux for the original opening in 2000: searching for the right balance between marking a clear entrance but at the same time not competing with the other elements of the sculpture park. The two pavilions have been adapted for the re-opening this year with a redesigned museum shop and the new cafeteria called “Lurra”.
Take your time and visit this unique place – best to visit it with plenty of time – to observe with curiosity the exhibition, stroll around the park and “experience” the exterior sculptures. Chillida was always interested in the emotional relationship between the spectator and his works: feel invited to see, touch and take with you some inspiration.