Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Aránzazu [Sanctuary of Our Lady of Arantzazu]
Religious/centre of worship
Religious/centre of worship
Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oíza, Luís Laorga
Jorge Oteiza, Eduardo Chillida (sculptors), Lucio Muñoz ,Carlos Pascual de Lara, Néstor Basterrechea, Javier de Eulate (painters)
Concrete by reinforcement
Concrete is a relatively brittle material that is strong in compression but less so in tension.
To increase its overall strength, steel rods, wires, mesh or cables may be embedded in concrete before it sets. This reinforcement, often known as rebar, resists tensile forces. By forming a strong bond, the two materials are able to resist a variety of applied forces, effectively acting as a single structural element .
In this case, the concrete can be made by mixing the components directly on site, or it may be transported from a production plant in concrete-mixer trucks.
This method has the disadvantage of leaving the concrete exposed to the elements while it is setting. Whereas, with other methods, the environmental conditions can be controlled during setting, providing greater control over the outcome, with cast-in-place concrete a series of tests and protocols are necessary to verify its final strength.
- textured walls
- wooden formwork finish
- stamped concrete
- exposed aggregate concrete, colored concrete, etc.
A series of arches are situated parallel to one another at a distance that allows for covering them with smaller secondary structures such as beams or plates. This type of structure also calls for support elements perpendicular to the arches to avoid the “domino” effect .
A shear wall resists loads parallel to the plane of the wall. Collectors, also known as drag members, transfer the diaphragm shear to shear walls and other vertical elements in the seismic force resisting system. Shear walls are typically light-framed or braced wooden walls with shear panels, reinforced concrete walls, reinforced masonry walls or steel plates.
State of Conservation
On a remote mountain in Guipuzkoa, surrounded by a spectacular natural landscape, stands the Franciscan sanctuary that has sheltered the image of the Virgin of Arantzazu for 500 years. The current basilica was designed by Francisco Javier Sainz de Oíza, who won the competition that was held after a fire destroyed the previous church; the new basilica was built on the foundations of the old.
Located on the edge of a cliff, surrounded by majestic mountains, the powerful appearance of the new temple also makes reference to geological elements: stone, concrete and wood are, in the words of the architect, “materials that make no concessions” for a building with an ancestral appearance “that welcomes the faithful like an inverted ship, where sound is reflected and the word is heard”. The descending stairway that provides access to the basilica, with its characteristic façade of roughly hewn granite points and decorated with sculptures of the apostles by Oteiza, emphasizes the tectonic aspect of the building. Inside, the vaulted wooden ceiling recalls the inverted keel of a ship, and the concrete bas-relief by Chillida that decorates the apse, bathed in a dramatic light from a low angle, refers to the mountainous cliffs that surround the sanctuary. A free-standing bell tower, also decorated with granite points, completes the ensemble.
A whole generation of artists, unknown in the 1950s, participated in one way or another in the reconstruction of the basilica. Despite the disapproval their work initially elicited from the conservative society of Guipuzkoa, the international prestige that many of those artists have garnered fully justifies their selection. Today the building is well-loved, and it is considered one of the groups of artwork that best reflects the Basque character.
Barrio Aránzazu, 7
Guipúzcoa 20567 Oñati
Fundación DOCOMOMO Ibérico