Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura


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Laboral Mesa de Trabajo
Pasaporte Cultural
Vamos Laboral
Laboral Cineteca
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Originally designed as an orphanage for the children of miners, but transformed during its construction into a Universidad Laboral (Technical College), this magnificent building complex conceived by the architect, Luis Moya Blanco was built as a grand self-sufficient, utopian city, closed in on itself. Indeed, it even had a 100 hectare farm and was fitted out to train generations of working-class children as highly qualified professionals.

Built pursuant to classical architectural principles, the central square was to become the heart of this ideal city, around of which there would be a magnificent church, tower, theatre and management buildings. Around this monumental central area of the city, the rest of the buildings were to strike out, among which the diaphanous workshops stand out, which had been built to accommodate vocational training activities.

Work on the complex began back in 1948 and were to last for several years until being brought to a sudden stop in 1957 as a result of the on the spot dismissal of the Minister for Labour, José Antonio Girón, the main driving force behind Spanish technical colleges. By that time, the first students had already begun to attend classes. Unfinished and abounding in legendary stories about the construction works, the Unviersidad Laboral de Gijón/Xixón lived on for decades riding a course between the unconditional affection held for the place by the majority of those who had built it and studied there and the incomprehension, or even complete rejection, of those who observed this untimely, disproportionate monolith from without.

Generations of students and qualified tradesmen – fitter-turners, master technicians, welders, millers, technical engineers – from the length and breadth of Spain were trained at Gijón/Xixón’s Universidad Laboral, which from its beginning was run by the Jesuits with the able assistance of the nuns of St. Clare who looked after the day-to-day logistics tasks. Many of these still play an active part in the Alumni Association, which serves to keep the story of the institution alive.

In the 1980’s, the old Universidad Laboral came to form part of the National Institute of Integrated Education, thus leaving a large part of the facilities obsolete and subject to relentless deterioration until 2001, when the Government of the Principality of Asturias took over the building and began to design an ambitious plan for its use in order to breathe new life into Moya’s under-used, ideal city.

Once the object of all kinds of opposing political, artistic and ideological readings, the ideal city has overcome all of these contradictions and has come down to us today for what it has always been from the very beginning: a magnificent and unique discourse of pure architectural values. As Rafael Moneo has written with respect to Luis Moya’s creation as a whole, “…now, on leaving behind the circumstantial, we can look with other eyes on his work, with eyes that do not preclude that certain shock that comes about when confronted with something which, as a result of being largely unknown, seems anomalous, and which is always accompanied, nonetheless, with a vague feeling of both warmth and respect”.



When the Government of the Principality of Asturias took over the Universidad Laboral building in Gijón/Xixón back in 2001, it decided to renovate a space of great complexity in order to consolidate its educational functions, while at the same time creating new and complementary uses. It was at that time that the idea of a superimposing a new city on Moya’s original ideal city came about; a 21st century centre of creativity and production, with spaces dedicated to learning and teaching; spaces to see, hear and consume cultural products; a space in which to share networks, to interchange knowledge and to convey ideas.

Aforesaid plan defined what was to become the overall refurbishment of a complex building on a monumental scale, given its 130,000 m2 surface area.

From the work that began back in 2005, and which has covered some 80,000 m2 of La Laboral’s entire surface area, the following elements have emerged: a centre of art in what were once vocational training workshops; a newly-built television studio, which completed the work on the erstwhile convent of the St. Clare nuns, and which has now been transformed into the headquarters of the Principality of Asturias Radio and Television company; a spectacular library, thus completing an unfinished part of Moya’s original project; the Corinthian courtyard, which has been transformed into a warm welcoming area thanks to this new glass roof; the magnificent assembly hall, technically equipped… not to mention thousands of metres of refurbished floor space to house the Vocational Training Centre, the Jovellanos University School, the Conservatory of Music and Dance and the Superior School of Dramatic Art.

After two years of work, which had not interfered in the day-to-day life of the building, La Laboral City of Culture opened its doors to the general public in March 2007 for two weeks to afford thousands of people a chance to get to know these new spaces; visitors who could also witness the transformation process to which theatre was being subject, or who could simply re-live their amazement at the size of the impressive church. The LABoral Centre of Art and Industrial Creation also opened in 2007, a unique space for artistic interchange which has quickly gained an international reputation for itself.


Domingo 21 de abril de 2024, 17:30 horas

Teatro de la Laboral

Expedición Las Nadies de Hipnótica Circo Teatro

Domingo 21 de abril de 2024, 19:00 horas

Paraninfo de la Laboral

Las dos caras de la justicia

Viernes 26 de abril de 2024, 19:00 horas

Paraninfo de la Laboral

Sobre todo de noche


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