Its brief history.
The Carmelite Mothers
The building, former cemetery annexed to the Carmelite convent, was financed by Lorenzo Rolland y Paret, a consulate in Toulouse who bought a plot of land measuring 16,000 square metres in the village of Betoño (now part of Vitoria-Gasteiz) for the Discalced Carmelites community in Toulouse (France). The first stone of the convent known as the Monastery of the Holy Mother of God in Betoño, followed by the cemetery, with a small chapel and the church, was laid on 11 September 1904. All three Neo-Gothic buildings were designed by the architect Marcial Dagorette. The drop in the number of religious vocations forced it to close its doors on 14 April 1999. The church was unsanctified and the cemetery remains removed to another convent. The convent was acquired by Caja Vital Kutxa in 2005.
The building as it stands today
State-of-the-art in design, the building occupies a built surface of 2,590 m2 distributed over two floors. It is the work of architects Roberto Ercilla and Miguel Ángel Campo, who have added a modern transparent structure in the shape of a glass box to the little Neo-Gothic cloister, enveloping the building and allowing natural light to flood into the ground floor, home of the multipurpose room, the consultation and work zones, areas for reprographics and digitization, the restoration workshop, offices and archives, which occupy almost 50% of the space. The main entrance is found in the former cloister, now covered, housing the reception, the exhibition area, and the offices and meeting rooms. A second archive is also to be found in the university campus area. The library is fitted with modern equipment and has plenty of space for the carrying out of related functions: collecting, conserving and delivering documentation and promoting dissemination of the Basque documentary heritage.