Spain’s €80m levitating Centro Botín showcases nautical flair and offers visitors easy access to waterfront for first time

Two great hull-like forms stand on the seafront in Santander, northern Spain, clad in thousands of pearlescent discs, like a pair of ships encrusted with exotic barnacles.

Jacked up 6 metres (20ft) into the air on slender white pillars, allowing views through to the water, this is the new Centro Botín, an €80m (£70m) art gallery by Renzo Piano, which opened to the public on Friday.

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