// arthitectural / Architecture / Poltrona Frau Contract with Rafael Moneo | University of Navarra

Poltrona Frau Contract with Rafael Moneo | University of Navarra

Architecture auditorium by PF Contract

The University of Navarra is a private pontifical university based at the southeast border of Pamplona, Spain. It was founded in 1952 by St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, the founder of Opus Dei, as a corporate work of the apostolate of Opus Dei.

At the present time, they have 9 research facilities in the University of Navarra: University Clinic of Navarra, Center for Applied Medical research, applied Pharmacobiology, Modern and Contemporary History, Technical investigations of Guipúzcoa, Biomedical investigation and Development, Nutrition and Bioengineering, Institute of Topical Medicine, Institute for Culture and Society.

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Now, in 2014, a new museum has been built and its opening will be in January 2015. The museum will, apart from housing an art and photography collection, also incorporate its performing arts activities. The art collection, considered as one of the greatest regarding contemporary Art of Spain, includes works of Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko and Wassily Kandinsky, among other authors, has been donated to the University by María Josefa Huarte Beaumont.

The architect in charge of the project is Pritzker prize winner (1996), Rafael Moneo. The museum has been designed as the common grounds between the different Faculties, Departments and Schools, and it will represent a new centre of reference for the University. Poltrona Frau Contract has proudly supplied the auditorium chairs for the 692 seat auditorium for this extraordinary project. The chair has been designed personally by Rafael Moneo and was given the name “Circa” by Moneo.

The precious collaboration between the Spanish architect and Poltrona Frau goes back many years now: the first joint project was the Prado Museum extension. Subsequently Poltrona Frau has worked side-by-side with Moneo in many other extraordinary projects such as the Toledo Congress Center and recently the Princeton University in New Jersey.

The auditorium covers a very important part from the museum´s scenic programme. Concerts, theatre, dance performances, conferences from companies and academic events will be held inside. The 195 m² stage has an orchestra pit with a band shell, a rehearsal room and technical such as 4k cinema projection for 3D, led lighting and streaming audio recorder possibilities.


The chair model, that has been chosen for the auditorium, combines a sophisticated design with function that appeals to those with high aesthetic standards. The seat and backrest are differently structured, whilst the seat back is in painted moulded aluminium, the backrest is made from moulded curved solid wood. This auditorium chair is another example of the unique craftsmanship and specific know-how of Poltrona Frau Contract in the development of fixed seating, providing tailor-made and highly personalized solutions meeting the highest acoustic requirements.

The museum building is divided into three floors covering a total of 11,000 m². It has 12 exhibition rooms, with an exhibition space of around 3,000 m², an auditorium with 692 seats, 3 workshops, a restaurant, a library, a classroom, two projection rooms, offices and warehouses, as well as the hall, the foyer, the lobbies and other amenities.


The design of the museum takes into account the entire context of the university. The museum is characterized by its multidisciplinary approach to art. As it will be constructed at the heart of the University, it will be surrounded by a variety of types of knowledge and learning, which will help to bring about research based on synergies. The Museum plans to participate and implement learning programs in order to foment the university community and service the Navarre community.

Location: Pamplona, Spain
Architect: Poltrona Frau Contract with Rafael Moneo
Scope: 692 auditorium chairs
Completion: October 2014
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