Espacio Cultural El Tanque de Santa Cruz de Tenerife, A Ring for an Old Oil Tank, Islas Canarias

Espacio Cultural El Tanque de Santa Cruz de Tenerife News

The Cultural Space The Tank Building, Canary Islands, Spain design by Menis Arquitectos

12 Feb 2012

El Espacio Cultural El Tanque

Location: Tenerife, Spain

Design: Fernando Menis, Menis Arquitectos

Espacio Cultural El Tanque de Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Photos © Hisao Suzuki


The Espacio Cultural El Tanque de Santa Cruz de Tenerife, is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary at ARCO 2012 with a special guest: the architect Fernando Menis, author and head of the architectural restoration (1997) that turned an old oil tank of a Refinery, the tank 69, in what today is internationally renowned for its daring cultural contents, El Espacio Cultural El Tanque.

The Tank – exterior + interior:
Espacio Cultural El Tanque de Santa Cruz de Tenerife The Tank Santa Cruz de Tenerife El Espacio Cultural El Tanque de Santa Cruz de Tenerife

At the stand at ARCO 2012 (from 15 to 19 February), you can enjoy the installation designed by Fernando Menis including various models made of concrete such as The Tanque itself as well as the Church of the Chumberas among others. The stand is curated by Dulce Xerach, vice president of the Association Amigos del Espacio Cultural El Tanque.

Installation in The Tank:
Installation in The Tank Santa Cruz de Tenerife
photo ® Efrain Pintos Barate

But the star of the proposal is a jewel that the architect Fernando Menis designed especially to honor the anniversary of the tank, a piece that comes at the intersection of architecture with art, fashion and design, made of two materials as diverse as concrete and Swarovski crystals.

At ARCO a limited edition of the ring will be selling presented into a booklet with photos that show the space in use during its 15 years of activity. The ring, as the author explains “is inspired by the shape of the cultural center of Santa Cruz, is a building in miniature” and the process of design and construction has followed patterns very similar to those followed at the time of designing a building, but in this case to a different scale.

The groundfloor plan of the building was the starting point for the design of the ring, the access door to the dark space became the Swarowski crystals.

Installation in The Tank:
The Tank Installation Santa Cruz de Tenerife
photo ® Teresa Arozena


Organizer: Asociación de los Amigos del Espacio Cultural El Tanque
Curator: Dulce Xerach
Project stand – Original idea: Menis Arquitectos. Author: Fernando Menis
Support team stand project: Víctor Lledó, Rolans Novikovs;
Poress of design and construction models for the stand: Fernando Menis, Moritz Krefter;


Original idea : Menis Arquitectos. Author: Fernando Menis;
Process of design and production of rings: Zuzana Tomeckova;
Process of design and production of book-box: Kiruna Roselló;
Investigation and study about concrete: Pedro Serna, Esteban Camacho, Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología del Hormigón (ICITECH), Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Lafarge
Support team: Line Beernaer, Isabel Nolte, Manuel Devesa, Bernardo Ramírez, María Ibañez, Antonio Martinez, Víctor Lledó, Rolans Novikovs

Toniflix Comunicación Diversa
Simona Rota

Anillo Menis:
Anillo Menis Anillo Menis El Tanque Anillo Menis El Tanque de Santa Cruz de Tenerife
photos ® Simona Rota

The Tank : Cultural Space

Creating a cultural space from a single water tank was a restoration which required careful and subtle planning. It is the reuse and reprogramming of a industrial site changing it into a cultural venue and gallery for exhibitions.

Located in what was formally a part of a refinery, this space is the last of it’s type in the area. Because of its form and massive size it has become a landmark for the city. A survivor of the past, leaving an evocative imprint of great expressive force. As the city grew the tank remained- existing as a memory of the cities industrial spirit.

The project uses and interprets the existing engineering and industrial qualities of the building which are reused to create a massive gallery space within the structure. The architecture is chameleon in character, acting as an ever changing space which is optimized for the display of art and installations.

Anillo Dibujo:
Anillo Dibujo Anillo Dibujo El Tanque de Santa Cruz de Tenerife
photos from Menis Arquitectos

The character of the project is how the structure has been reused. Material decisions have been based on retaining the simplest possible decisions, the program and creation of access is also done in a quiet and non-obtrusive manner. Interior walls and the construction of space uses hard and coarse materials, typical of industrial environment.

These walls create between the two existing walls the reception area with a small lobby area of information and toilets. The interior space is cleaned and adapted. This was rather simple in execution, placing plugs and emergency lighting on the pillars.

Taking advantage of the large metal sheets Menis Arquitectos were able to adjust natural lighting, this transformed the central space into a space of sensations. As the dismantling of the refinery advanced, construction materials were retrieved: large metal sheets were reused to create the pivoting door.

Image of the Old refinery CEPSA:
Old refinery CEPSA Tenerife
photo ® CEPSA

As well as light towers that illuminate outer space. Metal containers were converted into improvised skylights. Menis Arquitectos felt that saving and reusing materials was the best and most economic was to create architecture, as well as acting responsibly for the materials that would become waste.

Menis Arquitectos rescued another strange object, a former seaport finger that is de-contextualized to serve as a gateway for access from the street. The architects felt that this project was unique because it was the re-assembly of architectural elements that existed as something else. The transformation of what exists into something new.

It is also notable that materials of this project were reused in the House MM. Materials were reclaimed and transformed into new objects- the two projects are dependent on each other’s materials.

The Ring:
The Ring Santa Cruz de Tenerife
photo ®Fernando Menis

Cultural Space The Tank, Santa Cruz de Tenerife – Building Information

Location: Sta. Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Use: Multifunction Cultural Space
Site Area: 5.840 m2
Total constructed area: 2.295 m2 / Enclosure: 313,75 lm
Cost: 114.000 €

Structure: Steel. Gravity walls made of cyclopean concrete for the enclosure.
Materials: Steel, concrete, recycled pipelines and industrial waste material.
Status: Tank space completed 1997. Enclosure completed 2009.
Client: Insular Government of Tenerife.
Architects: Fernando Menis, Felipe Artengo, José Mª Rodríguez-Pastrana (Tank Project) Fernando Menis (Enclosure Project)

Models – Church in La Laguna ; Congress Center in Fuerteventura ; The Tank:
Church in La Laguna Congress Center in Fuerteventura The Tank Santa Cruz de Tenerife
photos ® Menis Arquitectos

Tenerife is the largest of the seven Canary Islands, belonging to Spain

Espacio Cultural El Tanque de Santa Cruz de Tenerife information from Menis Arquitectos

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