CFAH October 2019 - Kursaal Donostia - San Sebastián Kursaal Donostia – San Sebastián

Security measures against covid-19


The use of masks is mandatory at all times, at the entrance, exit and during the show.

At the entrance it will be mandatory to wash your hands with hydroalcoholic gel that will be made available to the public.

Respect the safety distance and follow the instructions of the staff to enter and exit the building.

Attend the event well in advance to avoid congestion.

Los asistentes deben permanecer sentados en sus butacas durante todo el espectáculo.


The exhibition “Solar K” [K-Site] re-examines the tens of projects presented for the site in which the San Sebastián Kursaal stands now

News / 24 October, 2019

 20 years after the construction of Rafael Moneos building, professors and students of the School of Architecture of the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU show us the history of the site.

 Between 1964 and 1989, three different calls for tenders were launched. Architect teams presented a total amount of 135 proposals.

 The present Palace triggered an intense debate in San Sebastián between those who defended a still image of the Belle Époque and those who supported its vocation of modern capital of culture.

 The San Sebastián Kursaal celebrates now 20 years since its opening. Rafael Moneo’s project, one of the most recognisable icons in the capital of Gipuzkoa, won a public tender that prompted a long and complex debate in the city. Professors and students of the Higher Technical School of Architecture of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) decided to re-examine the 25-year process (1964 to 1989) in which 135 architect teams competed in three different calls for bids.

The exhibition takes place in the framework of the Basque Country International Architecture Biennial MUGAK and opens today, 23st of October. It can be visited in the Auditorium Hall of the Kursaal, Friday to Sunday (except 25th November) from 11:00 to 14:00h., as well as during every event organised in the Auditorium untill the 8th of December.

The exhibition is not intended as a “historical account, a reconstruction with data and explanations of the events”, but as “a visual itinerary through those solutions offered by different architect teams for such a singular location as the K Site”, as its promoters explained. The research work was led by Mario Sangalli, a PhD in architecture, professor at the UPV/EHU and active member of the Peña Ganchegui Archives, which also participate in the show. The team is also composed by researchers Felipe Aurtenetxe, Ana Azpiri, Diego Rodríguez and Iñigo Viar as well as by students Paúl Campo, Ander Guerra, Adrián López and Laila Medina.

Obviously, the show includes the present building designed by Rafael Moneo, which opened now 20 years ago. There is also a selection of 20 models at a scale of 1:500, in chronological order. The models appear free from any context, oblivious to any particular place, situation or issue. Clean, white, abstract, they are presented as a sequence of formal solutions to the same problem. The building that originally occupied the site closes the series.

The itinerary is an opportunity to review projects designed by relevant figures of architecture. Besides Moneo’s proposal, awarded the Pritzker Prize in 1996, the third and last call for bids include works by Mario Botta, Norman Foster, Arata Isozaki, Juan Navarro Baldeweg and the team composed by Luis Peña Ganchegui, José Antonio and Mateo Corrales.

Other projects shown were presented to the first call for tender (1964 and 1965), which was called EuroKursaal back then. Among other things, the programme included a luxury hotel, dwellings, a cinema theatre, an indoor pool, a bathing house, offices, restaurants, a skating rink and shopping arcades. The winner was the team composed by Jan Lubicz-Nycz from the UK, Carlo Pelliccia y from Italy and William Zuk from the USA. Generally speaking, the proposals of the time correspond to “the expressionist power of those years”.

The second call for bids (1972 to 1975), called Gran Kursaal, also requested a luxury hotel, dwellings, garages, a convention hall, a swimming pool, a gym, offices and a restaurant. It was won by José Antonio Corrales and Ramón Vázquez Molezún, ahead of Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza. These proposals are “more urban” and try out different ways to occupy one block in the expansion district.

In the last tender called in 1989, “Moneo’s project offered the best interpretation of the space” – according according to the promoters of the exhibition – and “has the advantage of harmonizing its two conditions: singular icon facing the sea and urban facility in dialogue with the city it serves”.

Meeting With Rafael Moneo & Iñaki Gabilondo

On the 28th of November at 18:00h., architect Rafael Moneo and journalist Iñaki Gabilondo will meet in the Kursaal Chamber Hall to chat about the impact of the Kursaal as an economic driver and transforming element for the surroundings, as well as about the evolution of the building itself and how it has adapted to new needs and technologies.

Those interested in attending the meeting, need to request an invitation in the Kursaal webpage starting on the 24th of October. Tickets are free of charge and subject to capacity. Should the seating area in the Chamber Hall be complete, people with an invitation will be able to follow the meeting via streaming in an adjoining room.

Beatriz Artolazabal: “Increased training and knowledge of languages are the best assets for ensuring the employability of our young people”

News / 21 October, 2019

    • Alongside mayor Eneko Goia and Deputy Minister Markel Olano, Artolazabal has taken part in the opening of the 2nd International Employment Congress and the 1st Merkalan Training and Employment Fair
    • taking place today and tomorrow at the Donostia-San Sebastián Kursaal Conference Centre [palacio de Congresos Kursaal].
    • Analysis of the Baviera and Trento employment models

    The Basque Country’s Ministry of Employment and Social Policies, Beatriz Artolazabal, believes that “ increased training and knowledge of languages are the best assets for ensuring the employability of our young people”, alongside mayor Eneko Goia and Deputy Minister Markel Olano, Artolazabal has taken part in the opening of 2nd International Employment Congress and the 1st Merkalan Training and Employment Fair that is taking place today and tomorrow at the Donostia-San Sebastián Kursaal Conference Centre [palacio de Congresos Kursaal].

    “Our programme is in line with the guidelines set out by the European Union and by the United Nations itself and the basis of our work is that increased training gives rise to increased and higher quality employment. “A commitment to quality employment” is the motto that is bringing everyone together at this 2nd International Congress and the Merkalan Fair, our new initiative to bolster contracting, advice and a close relationship between Lanbide, companies and people who wish to improve their work,” said Artolazabal.

    According to the Sailburu [department head] Artolazabal, “the Department of Employment and Social Policies, and the Lanbide Basque Employment Service are join forces to present this joint initiative, contrasting good practices developed in other parts of Europe. From over-qualification that some have pointed out to a lack of skilled labour as stated by others, our analysis indicates that increased training and knowledge of languages are the best assets for ensuring the employability for young people”.


    “In terms of precariousness, quality jobs end up being beneficial to all parties and ensure that talent is retained of the generations of our youth with the highest degree of training in our history. These two days of the Congress are going to allow us to compare ourselves with other realities”.

    After welcoming all the experts taking part in the conference, Artolazabal emphasised “that the first Merkalan fair is a relationship bridge that offers more than 700 jobs, making it one of the symptoms of the evolution of Lanbide, the Basque Employment Service that is being upgraded as employability facilitator and that is no longer synonymous with the older unemployment offices”.

    “Lanbide is becoming increasingly accessible and is reaching out to the public in terms of offering an individual and comprehensive service. After years of recession and its ensuing unemployment, the most important objective of this legislature for the Basque Government, and for Basque society as a whole, was lower unemployment rates by 10%, something that has been achieved. And faced with international uncertainty, we are alert”, stated Beatriz Artolazabal who reiterated her commitment “to quality employment for everyone, especially our young people”.

    The “2nd International Employment Congress and the 1st 2019 “Merkalan” Training and Employment Fair” are being organised by the Basque Government’s Department of Employment and Social Policies. The “Merkalan” Fair is presenting jobseekers with more than 700 jobs in all sectors and for all types of qualifications offered by 70 participating companies.

    The Basque Country’s deputy minister for Employment and Youth, Marcos Muro, the director general of Lanbide Borja Belandia, and his area directors Amaia Arteaga, Marta Etxebarria, Ion Uriarte and Nestor Arana will be attending the events.


    Franck Morel, advisor to the French Prime Minister for Social Relations, Work, Employment and Professional Training has offered to make the opening speech entitled “France’s commitment to quality employment”. The “global opportunities and challenges for the creation of quality employment” have been addressed by Jamie Winders, director of the University of Syracuse’s Autonomous Systems Policy Institute; Christopher Markou, from the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Law, and Albert Cañigueral, co-founder of Ouishare.

    The “European Union quality employment strategy” has been presented by Loukas Stemitsiotis, director of Thematic Analysis from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. Maurizio Bussi, the ILO Deputy Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia will be speaking today about “the global quality employment strategy”, while Alexander Hijzen, the OECD director of Employment Strategy, will be talking about “The OECD quality employment strategy”. Attendees will be making a visit this afternoon to the Basque Country’s “Tknika” Vocational Training Applied Innovation and Research Centre in the town of Errenteria.


    Tomorrow, Tuesday 22, Markus Zorzi, General Director of Planning, Strategy, Legal Affairs and Communication from the Ministry of Family, Employment and Social Affairs of the Government of Bavaria, will be giving a talk entitled “the Quality Employment Strategy in Bavaria”;  Laura Pedron, general director from the Employment Agency of the Trento Regional Province will be speaking about its quality strategy, while Gary Shaughnessy, president of Z Zurich Foundation, will be analysing “The creation of quality employment in the services sector”.

    The company’s inclusive-participatory model will be presented by Deb Oxley, CEO of the Employee Ownership Association; and Juan Manuel Sinde, President of the Arizmendiarrieta Foundation. Marcos Muro, the Basque Government’s Employment and Youth Vice Minister will close the Congress.

    Lanbide is celebrating the first year of its Merkalan employment and training fair at Kursaal, with the aim of promoting and facilitating contact between companies with a need to hire and those actively looking for a job. It spans 1,000 square meters, taking into account the specific needs of those using Lanbide’s services in its design and content.

    The layout of the different areas of the fair have been set up as a typical employment programme, with stands presenting the thematic areas and all the individualised resources provided by the Lanbide network of offices to the public to help make decisions to improve employability (job search registration, career guidance, training, professional certificates, services for companies, entrepreneurship, etc.).