At the foot of Mount Igeldo, we find one of the most magical corners of this San Sebastian... here the Cantabrian wind spruces itself up before visiting the city, grumbling a little to itself through a curious system of pipes which allow it to breathe to the rhythm of the waves.
The story of the Wind Comb starts in 1968 when a group of local dignitaries decide to honour Eduardo Chillida, a Basque sculptor who was becoming very well–known. They thought of setting up a temporary exhibition, a suggestion that was sufficiently appealing to the city council for them to support the project. They financed the adaptation of the promenade, allowing pedestrian access to the site, commissioning the architect Luis Peña Ganchegi to carry out the work.
But, as we know, officialdom moves at a snail's pace, causing a delay of nine years! And so, we come to 1977 when, finally, the sculpture was revealed, set in pink granite terraces and complete with a subterranean system of pipes which function as blowholes, spraying seawater into the air at times of rough seas... And you know?... Some of us think that here the sea speaks to us and shows off its strength.
To interrupt the story a moment... approach the cliffside of Mount Igeldo and observe the rock strata revealed by the erosion of the wind and waves... These layers were laid down millions of years ago on the seabed, to later be distorted and pushed upwards by tremendous tectonic forces, forming the mount you are standing at the base of. Touch those seams of rock, and you are touching the geological history of this planet.
Now to return to the story of the Wind Comb.
At first, only one metal "comb" was planned, but Eduardo Chillida decided that three would be much better, resulting in a more balanced and geometric work of art.
So now they just had to work out the small detail of how on earth they would move these large steel pieces, with a weight of ten tonnes each, to where they wanted them. After considering several options, among them the use of a special helicopter – so unique it couldn't be found – and discarding the sea route due to its unpredictable nature, they decided to build a robust system of scaffolding and walkways.
Surprisingly, the inauguration on 3rd September 1977 was such a small affair that only a dozen people were in attendance. Thirty years would pass before, in 2007, a new official inauguration took place more fitting to the importance of this work of art and its significance for the city.