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The Students Hall of Residence

The Student Hall of Residence


From its creation in 1910 until 1936, when its activities were interrupted by the outbreak of the Civil War, the Student Hall of Residence was the foremost cultural centre in Spain, and the scene of some of the most lively and fruitful scientific and artistic exchanges in Europe in the inter-war years. Juan Ramón Jiménez, Miguel de Unamuno, José Ortega y Gasset, José Moreno Villa, Eugenio d’Ors, and the young Federico García Lorca, Luis Buñuel, Severo Ochoa, Salvador Dalí, Rafael Alberti and Pedro Salinas were just some of the famous Spaniards who lived in or visited the Hall of Residence. It was also a reception and generation centre for the avant-garde trends that were developing simultaneously in different parts of the world: During their visits to Madrid, Einstein, Keynes, Gropius, Marie Curie, Stravinsky, Bergson, Calder, Valéry and Max Jacob brought new ideas in science, philosophy and aesthetics to the Hall of Residence.

The intellectual renewal prompted by the Student Hall of Residence was of great importance. Additionally, in a reciprocal exchange, there were conferences and foreign guests who contributed towards opening new horizons for our young creators. This cultural atmosphere enabled a new sensibility and new social and aesthetic directions to spread to other Spanish cities - Barcelona, Murcia, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Malaga - in the favourable political environment of liberal governments and with the birth of nationalism in Europe, which contributed to a new regenerative conscience and the need for reform in all areas of knowledge. The Hall of Residence was a forum for debate and dissemination of avant-garde trends that arrived from elsewhere in Europe.

In accordance with the original interests of the Hall of Residence, in its second phase, which began in 1986, its work has been based on two guiding lines: firstly, that of being a place of memory dedicated to the study and recovery of our historical legacy, focussing in particular on the period in Spanish culture known as the Silver Age (Edad de Plata 1868-1936); and secondly, to carry out work to create new artistic and intellectual manifestations, and to analyse and promote current national and international trends in science and thought.

One of the characteristics of the Student Hall of Residence that differentiates it from other Spanish cultural institutions, is its role as a meeting place for specialists in various areas of knowledge who come from different areas around the world. Researchers, students, artists and other professionals come together in the Student Hall of Residence, making it an ideal place for research and thought, always seeking to provide an appropriate environment for creative activities.

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