Barcelona architecture modern: Modern Architecture in Barcelona | Guide to Best Modern Buildings

Modern Architecture in Barcelona | Guide to Best Modern Buildings

Modern Architecture in Barcelona | Guide to Best Modern Buildings

Barcelona, Spain

Text & photos: Kasper Christiansen

2. April 2021 (revised version)

Since the construction of Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion for the World Exhibition in 1929, Barcelona has been at the vanguard of modern architecture in Europe. The building by Mies van der Rohe is one of the first so-called modern buildings in Europe. It came out of the Bauhaus school and brought with it a whole new way of thinking architecture.

Read about our Tour to the modern architecture in Barcelona
Visit the most important modern architecture in Barcelona together with an expert English-speaking architecture guide.

The change in style is especially significant in Barcelona. Until the 1920’s, Barcelona had been completely dominated by Art Nouveau (called modernisme in Catalan and modernismo in Spanish). With functionalism came a style that was at the same time classic and modern, but first of all was radically opposed to the baroque and ornamented style of Art Nouveau.

However, even though early functionalism is closely linked with Barcelona, it is not until recent years that vanguard modernism “came back to” Barcelona. Of course, there are exceptions (one significant one is the Fundació Miró by Josep Lluis Sert, a Catalan architect that worked with Le Corbusier in Paris around 1930).

The Olympic Games and its significance for Barcelona

In many ways the celebration of the Olympic Games in 1992 meant the beginning of a new era – also in the field of architecture. Out of the Olympic Games in 1992 came a new and more attractive city. 10.000 apartments were built, the beaches were cleaned up, three new highways were constructed and many green areas and parks were designed. Today, Barcelona is a modern and dynamic city.

In the years up to The Olympic Games Barcelona entered a process of construction that really hasn’t stopped again. Old industrial areas were rehabilitated, new parks were designed and a total of more than 300 new buildings were planned by approximately 150 architects.

Since then, new interesting, modern architecture has continued to come up in Barcelona. Today, Barcelona offers an overwhelming amount of fascinating, modern buildings that have changed the urban landscape of Barcelona radically. To name just a few: Norman Foster, Santiago Calatrava, Jean Nouvel and Richard Rogers as well as local architects like Enric Miralles and Ricard Bofill have been building in Barcelona over the last two decades.

Frank Gehry’s Fish sculpture in the Olympic Port from 1992.

14 modern highlights

To help you choose a few of the most interesting of Barcelona’s modern buildings, here is a list of some of the best works.

1. Hotel W by Ricard Bofill

A beautiful building that is home to one of the best hotels in Barcelona. The building looks like a sail, thus the nickname ‘Hotel Sail’ (Hotel Vela in Spanish), in comparison to the famous Burj Al Arab in Dubai.

Hotel W has several interesting restaurants and bars, among these the eclipse bar on the 26th floor, and the Restaurant Bravo on the first run by local gourmet chef Carles Abellan. The building rises towards the sky from the marina in the southern part of Barceloneta. The building has been criticized for being too close to the sea by environmental associations, but it is also acclaimed for being one of the most interesting works of architecture in Barcelona over the last years.

The architect Ricard Bofill is also the designer of the Terminal 1 and 2 in the Airport of Barcelona and The National Theatre (Teatre Nacional de Catalunya). Abroad he has among other things built the wine cellars of the acclaimed Château Laffite Rothschild.

Hotel W in Barcelona

2. The Communication Tower by Santiago Calatrava

Santiago Calatrava had his breakthrough in Barcelona with this beautiful communications tower. Calatrava rose to fame and was seen for the first time during the Olympic Games in 1992 in Barcelona. Since then, he has turned into an international superstar in modern architecture, building New York, Zurich and Venice.

The communications tower is a both unique an aesthetically close-to-perfection structure on the Montjuïc Hill in Barcelona that looks like a white dart being thrown at the sky. It can be seen from most points in Barcelona and is today one of the main architectonical attractions of the city. Early drawings and sketches from Calatrava’s hand show that the inspiration comes from a kneeling woman.

The base of the antenna can be seen as a tribute to local architect Antoni Gaudí. It consists of a mosaic of broken tiles in the style of Gaudi’s trencadís  found in so many of his works: (the rooftops of Palau Güell, Casa Batlló and Casa Milà and in the famous, meandering bench in Park Güell). The Communication Tower changes perspective from different angles, so when you visit it, be sure to walk around it.

Calatrava rose to fame and was for the first time seen as a coming superstar in architecture. Since then Calatrava has been building in New York, Zurich, Venice, etc. The idea of the complex structure of the roof comes from the school designed for Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudí. The structure has the form of a hyperbolic paraboloid, one of the favourite geometrical forms of Gaudí.

Torre Calatrava, The Communication tower on Montjuic, designed by the Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava

3. Mercat Santa Catarina by Miralles/Tagliabue

The Santa Catarina Market, close to La Seu Cathedral, was the first covered market to be built in Barcelona (1848), using the space left by the demolishment of the Santa Catarina convent. In 2005 the market was completely renovated by Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue from EMBT.

The idea of the complex structure of the roof comes from the school designed for Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudí. The structure has the form of a hyperbolic paraboloid, one of the favorite geometrical forms of Gaudí.

The tiled roof of the Santa Catarina Market

4. The Museum of Modern Art (MACBA) by Richard Meier

The American architect Richard Meier built the Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona in 1995. Before the construction of the museum this area was a worn down quarter but after the building process finished, new cafés, restaurants, hotels, etc. began to thrive close to the museum. Also, an open space was made in front of the museum on the Plaça dels Angels.

The museum is a characteristic white building, typical of Meier’s other works (for example the Ghetty Museum in Los Angeles). The building is also used for other purposes than exposing art, here among the electronic music festival Sonar.

MACBA – the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona, designed by Richard Meier


Torre de Gas Natural by Miralles & Tagliabue

This building made from steel and glass surprises many visitors in Barcelona with its controversial structure. A long “arm” of glass comes out from the main tower and looks like it is suspended in the air. It was built in 2007 by two of the most popular architects in Barcelona over the last decades. The buildings are used as headquarters of Gas Natural.

The Gas Natural building by Miralles & Tagliabue

6. Torre de Collserola by Sir Norman Foster

Norman Fosters Communications tower on Tibidabo is located on top of the Tibidabo Mountain and visible from most places in Barcelona. The tower is 288 meters high, being the highest structure in Spain. A panoramic viewpoint
with splendid views of the city of Barcelona is accessible.

Norman Foster’s Communications Tower on Collserola

7. Torre Agbar by Jean Nouvel

Jean Nouvel’s Torre Agbar is without a doubt one of the most spectacular buildings in Barcelona. 140 meters high. In the night, the building lights up with led lights in many different colours. The building has been used as offices by the water supply in Barcelona but will be turned into a luxury hotel over the next years.

Torre Agbar, designed by Jean Nouvel

8. Les Arenes by Sir Richard Rogers

The Arenes, an old bullfighting ring, has been lifted 5 meters and converted into a modern shopping mall with restaurants, shops, cinemas and a museum. You can enjoy spectacular views from the roof. Richard Rogers was the head architect who led the project.

The Arenes Building

9. The Forum Building by Herzog and de Meuron

This triangular building that seems to be hovering over the ground without any support (just a few pillars support its weight) was the main building designed for cultural festival Forum 2004. It is a spectacular triangular building in blue inspired by the Mediterranean Sea. It is designed by the two Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron.

The Forum Building by Herzon & de Meuron

10. The Mirror hotel & other works by CGA Arquitectos

CGA Architects is an interesting architecture company based in Barcelona who have been designing many interesting buildings in Barcelona over the last decades. The company was founded in 1986 by Josep Juanpere and Antonio Puig and they are behind projects like Torre Puig, Mirror Hotel, Quatrecasas Abogados headquarters. For the Mirror Hotel they won the European Hotel Design Award in 2012 for best architecture.

Architecture by CGA Architects

11. The Telefonica building by Enric Massip

The 110-meter-high Diagonal ZeroZero Tower by Enric Massip Bosch from 2011 is one of the most interesting buildings that have been built in Barcelona over the last years. The building has 24 stores. It is often compared with Toyo Itos famous building in Tokyo Tod’s Omotesando

The Telefónica building


Bac de Roda Felipe II bridge by Santiago Calatrava

Another interesting project by Santiago Calatrava that goes all the way back to the Valencian architect’s beginning in the  1980’s. The bridge was designed in 1987, and even though it may not be as spectacular as other structures by Calatrava, it is still worth a visit. It is located in a dull housing area in the outskirts of Barcelona.

Bac de Roda Modern Bridge by Santiago Calatrava

13. Porta Fira Hotel by Toyo Ito

The building designed by Toyo Ito (with help from the design studio b720 Arquitectos headed by Fermín Vázquez) is 110 meters high and one of the most intriguing structures of the Hospitalet suburb of Barcelona. There are two towers as a tribute to the two Venetian Towers at Plaza España. Toyo Ito designed more buildings in Barcelona – if you liked his hotel, remember to check out the Suites Avenue on Passeig de Gracia.

The Porta Fira Hotel


Frank Gehry’s Peix d’or

The Peix d’or (Golden fish) is designed for the Olympic Games in Barcelona (1992) by a superstar in modern architecture: Frank Gehry. The structure is located right in the middle of the Olympic Village. The structure resembles later works like the Walk Disney Music hall and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

Frank Gehry’s Fish sculpture in the Olympic Port from 1992.

More modern architecture – The Diagonal Mar Zone and the 22@-area

The Diagonal Mar (also called the Forum Area) is the area in Barcelona with some of the most interesting modern architecture to be visited. The area is ideal if you are short on time and do not have a car to get around.

You can start with the main building in the area, the Forum Building (see above) by the Swiz architects Herzog & de Meuron. Close by, you will find Josep Lluís Mateo’s Centre de Convencions Internacional de Barcelona (CCIB) and the Diagonal Zero Zero Tower by Enric Massip Bosch (see above). For this area Zaha Hadid designed the spectacular Torre Espiral, but the building will not be built, since the economical crisis made the proyect non-viable.

Closer to the sea you will see a beautiful structure arise, the Photovoltaic Power Plant by Martinez Lapeña – Torres Arquitectos, providing electricity to more than 1000 houses in the area Diagonal Mar Area. If you continue up the Diagonal Street (in the direction of the city center) and you will see the funny looking Diagonal Mar Park designed by Enric Miralles on your left hand.

The Photovoltaic structure by Martinez Lapeña – Torres Arquitectos

Further up Diagonal Mar…

If you continue along the Diagonal street you will get to another parc, designed by Jean Nouvel.
Not many people visit this, but it is still worth a visit. In this area you will also find the Can Framis by Jordi Badía, that combines architecture and garden design.

In the same area you will find the MediaTIC building by Enrique Ruiz Geli from 2010. Also visit the university nearby, UPF – originally a textile fabric from 1877, but in 2009 turned into university (Placa Guttenberg & Edifici Roc Boronat) by the architects Josep Benedito and Ramon Valls, workshops by Carlos Ferrater and Patrick Genard and the building on C/ Tànger by Frederic Crespo.

Can Framis by Jordi Badía

More modern architecture and new buildings to come

A little further up the Diagonal street you will come to Hotel Me by Dominique Perrault, a design hotel with lounge music and trendy restaurants. At the top you can visit the Dos Cielos restaurant (1 Michelin Star). Since now you are getting to Glories, you can easily reach Jean Nouvel’s Torre Agbar (see above) and the brand new Barcelona Disseny Hub by MBM (Martorell, Bohigas & Mackey), both located at the Glories roundabout.

The future – new buildings to come in Barcelona

A project to look forward to is Frank Gehry’s La Sagrera Station, a spectacular building project – however it is in the freezer since the constructor is short on money.

Read about our Tour to the modern architecture in Barcelona. Visit buildings and structure by Richard Rogers, Frank Gehry and Santiago Calatrava in Barcelona with a private guide.

Modern Barcelona in the Glories district

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Antoni Gaudí & architecture

Modern Architecture in Barcelona – A Guide to some of Barcelona’s Most Iconic Modern Buildings

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Gaudí’s Casa Batlló

To Barcelona, architecture is so much more than just Gaudí. Architects from around the world flock to the city to visit much of its more modern architecture. I spoke to Sheffield based architect, Sarah Considine, for her thoughts on Barcelona’s modern architecture and a list of her favourite modern buildings.

Whilst Gaudí’s influence is not always visible in the style of modern architecture, and it is often apparent in the use of colour and imagination. It often seems as though architects, when designing for Barcelona, take more risks and use brighter colours than they would when designing for other cities. It is as though Gaudí and the other modernist architects bring out a brave streak in even the most conservative of architects. Gaudí was particularly influenced by natural forms. Most of his buildings are based on naturally occurring organic shapes. If you visit the Sagrada Família museum, you will learn more about how Gaudí used natural shapes to create the basis of his architecture.

What makes Barcelona’s architecture distinctive?

Bold, brash, colourful, distinctive, harmonious, varied and unique are just a few adjectives that come to mind when describing Barcelona architecture. Barcelona has successfully blended the old and the new in a way that makes this city simply breathtakingly beautiful. There is nothing more enjoyable than strolling around the streets of Barcelona and taking in the atmosphere that radiates out from the architecture. Traditional Catalan Gothic architecture such as the Iglesia de Pi church is reserved and stoic in its design, but just a 5 minute walk away we have the Barcelona Cathedral with its beautiful arches and facade. A short metro ride we have the famous Sagrada Família Basilica which towers into the sky and has different architectural styles on all four sides of the building.

Barcelona is often praised by architects for its town planning. You will notice as you walk around the city that buildings on corners have a flat edge – this is known as a ‘chamfered corner’. It means that crossroads have a more open feel and there is room on street corners for terraces – this helps to give Barcelona its sociable and communal atmosphere.

Barcelona’s Avenida Diagonal is also praised by architects and town planners. It is a large street that runs diagonally right through the centre of the city. When it was built, it was an original piece of town planning.

Central Barcelona can be separated into three main areas. The old town or Barri Gòtic which was the original Barcelona. Characterised by winding old streets and tall, dark ancient buildings. The Raval area which was an extension to the original old town and finally Eixample which is the large organised “grid” structure area that was appended to the old town. Each area has its own unique and distinctive character. To learn more about Barcelona’s neighbourhoods see our pages on the Barcelona barrios

Could you Talk me Though Some of Your Favourite Modern Buildings in Barcelona?

Instead of covering the usual famous buildings like the Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló and Casa Mila I’ll cover some other not so famous, but equally remarkable architecture.

Jean Nouvel’s Agbar Tower

Jean Nouvel’s Agbar Tower

Rumour has it that this was designed before Norman Foster’s ‘gherkin’ in London. It is designed to give the impression of a shoot of water – a geiser. This explains the shimmering colours that run through the building. There is also a pool of water running around the bottom of the building like a moat. The building has three layers of ‘skin’ – one of corrugated iron, one of glass and one of coloured windows.

Metro: Clot (Red Line, L1) and (Purple Line, L2)

If you go to visit the building it is really important that you check out the lobby. The rest of the building is private but it is free to enter the lobby. It is an impressive space – the small windows on the building allow pinholes of light to stream into the building. It gives the feeling of being in an old church with stained glass windows.

Herzog & de Meuron’s Forum Building

Herzog & de Meuron’s Forum Building

Herzog and Meuron are currently considered to be the ‘golden boys of architecture’. They also designed the Tate Modern in the UK and the Birds nest Stadium in Beijing.

The area that the building is in is also of architectural interest. It was designed as a sort of showcase of architecture. For this reason, it could perhaps be criticised – the area has a slight sense of being desolate. However, if you are interested in architecture, the building and the area should not be missed.

Metro: El Maresme Fórum

Frank Gehry’s Fish

Frank Gehry’s Fish

This is what is known as a ‘folly’ – a structure that does not have a particular practical purpose – something between a sculpture and a building. The large fish was designed to glimmer and twinkle, like a fish moving under water. The building works well from far away – it can be seen from all of the way down the beach. Once you arrive however you discover the golden fish is hollow – a shock for some true architect lovers.

Frank Gehry also designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. And for those who love their celebrity gossip, he is a close friend of Brad Pitt.

Metro: Ciutadella Vila Olimpica (Yellow Line, L4)

EMBT’s Santa Caterina Market

EMBT’s Santa Caterina Market

This is the food market building near to Barcelona’s Cathedral. It is a interesting building that caused a lot of controversy when it was first constructed. However, people have grown to love it – as is often the case with architecture, the buildings that spilt opinions the most are the most successful and legendary in the long run.

One issue that I have with the building is the sense that perhaps it was designed more as a postcard photo rather than being designed to be practical. The colourful mosaic roof is the building’s most distinctive feature and it cannot be witnessed from the ground. However, folds in the roof give glimpses of the distinctive pattern.

Metro: Jaume I (Yellow Line, L4)

Norman Foster’s Telecommunications Tower

The tower is a perfect example of Norman Foster’s ‘high tech’ style. He is one of the pioneers of this style – the concept of exposing the parts of the building that are normally concealed – the workings of the building.

Norman Foster’s Telecommunications Tower (Close Up) Norman Foster’s Telecommunications Tower

This may be of interest to football fans, as Norman Foster has designed the extensions to the Camp Nou stadium.

Metro: Av Tibidabo (Blue Line, L5)

(if you are visiting the tower at the weekends it is easiest to take the T2 bus from Plaça de Catalunya)

Richard Meier’s Museum of Contemporary Art

Richard Meier’s Museum of Contemporary Art

This building has a compositional feel – similar to a Mondrian painting. It is often praised for the space that it has created in the area of Raval. The MACBA square at the front of the building is renowned for its energy – the building has created a communal space in the area, where people gather to spend time.

The building has also been praised for the way in which it was planned and constructed. Raval is one of the poorest areas of Barcelona – local people were trained to both construct and work in the building. This was a way in which to involve the local community in the arrival of this new entity in their area.

Metro: Universitat (Red Line, L1) and (Purple Line, L2)

Santiago Calatrava’s Olympic Flame

Santiago Calatrava’s Olympic Flame

Santiago Calatrava is from Valencia and he is one of Spain’s most celebrated architects. He also designed a science park in Valencia. Much of his work is said to be inspired by animal skeletons and the way in which they move.

Any Final Tips for Those Coming to Check Out Barcelona’s Architecture?

Anyone interested in modern architecture should not miss the opportunity to see Mies Van de Rohe’s Pavilion. This is one of the first examples of modern architecture and was ground breaking for its time. Architects and fans of modern architecture visit the Pavilion as if on pilgrimage.

Modern Architecture in Barcelona – A guide to some of Barcelona’s most iconic modern buildings

Page Content

Gaudí’s Casa Batlló

Architecture in Barcelona is not only about Gaudí. Architects from all over the world flock to Barcelona to see examples of modern architecture. I spoke with Sarah Considine, an architect from Sheffield, England, and found out what she thinks about modern architecture in Barcelona, ​​and which modern buildings she likes the most.

Although Gaudí’s influence is not always visible in contemporary style architecture, it can always be seen in the use of color and imagination. Architects often seem to take more risks when designing buildings for Barcelona using bright colors than they would if they were building in other cities. As if Gaudí and other modernist architects are helping even the most conservative architects overcome their timidity. Gaudí was particularly influenced by natural images. Most of his work is based on organic forms found in nature. If you visit the Sagrada Família Museum, you will learn a lot about how Gaudí used natural imagery to form the basis of his creations.

What makes Barcelona’s architecture so distinctive?

Bold, sassy, ​​colourful, special, harmonious, diverse and unique are just a few of the adjectives that come to mind when describing Barcelona’s architecture. Barcelona successfully combines old and new in such a way that the beauty of this city is simply breathtaking. There is nothing better than walking the streets of Barcelona and soaking up the atmosphere created by the architecture. Examples of traditional Catalan Gothic architecture such as the Iglesia de Pi church are reserved and stoic in style, but Barcelona Cathedral with its beautiful arches and façade is just a 5-minute walk away. With a short subway ride, you can see the famous Sagrada Família basilica stretching up to the sky and featuring four different architectural styles on each of its sides.

Architects often praise the layout of Barcelona. Walking around the city, you will notice that the corners of the buildings are beveled – this is called a “cut edge”. This means that intersections are more spacious and there is room for terraces on street corners. This gives Barcelona an atmosphere of friendliness and community.

Architects and urban planners also praise Avenida Diagonal in Barcelona. It is a wide street that runs diagonally through the center of the city. At one time, this street was an original urban planning solution.

The central part of Barcelona can be divided into three main parts. The Old Town or Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter), from which Barcelona itself began. This area is characterized by winding old streets and tall old dark buildings. The Raval area, which extended the original old town, and finally Eixample, a large, ordered “grid” area attached to the old town. Each area has its own unique and distinctive character. To learn more about the districts of Barcelona, ​​read our articles on the districts of Barcelona

Can you tell me about your favorite modern buildings in Barcelona?

Instead of listing the well-known Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló and Casa Mila, I will talk about equally wonderful but lesser-known examples of architecture.

Agbar tower by Jean Nouvel

Agbar Tower by Jean Nouvel

Rumor has it that this tower was designed before Norman Foster built the “gherkin” in London. As planned, the tower should represent a beating fountain of water – a geyser. This explains the shimmering colors that permeate the tower. Water also runs around the base of the tower, resembling a moat. The “skin” of the building consists of three layers – corrugated iron, glass and colored windows.

Metro: Clot (Red Line, L1) and (Purple Line, L2)

If you are going to see this building, be sure to visit the lobby. The rest of the building is private, but you can enter in the lobby. This is an impressive place – small windows let in thin streams of light. There is a sense of presence in the old church with colored stained glass windows.

Herzog & de Meuron forum building

Herzog & de Meuron forum building

Herzog and Meuron are now considered the “golden boys of architecture”. They created the Tate Modern gallery in the United Kingdom and the Birds nest stadium (Bird’s Nest) in Beijing.

The area in which the building stands is also of architectural interest. It was conceived as an architectural demonstration. Because of this, it can be criticized – the area gives a slight feeling of abandonment. However, if you are interested in architecture, be sure to visit this building and area.

Metro: El Maresme Forum

Fish by Frank Gehry

Fish by Frank Gehry

This is what is called a “whim” – a structure that has no practical use, something between a sculpture and a building. As planned, the big fish was supposed to flicker and tremble, like a fish swimming under water. From afar, the building looks very good. It can be seen from the beach itself. But as soon as you get close, you realize that the goldfish is empty inside – a shock to some true architecture lovers.

Frank Gehry also created the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. For those who love celebrity gossip, he is a close friend of Brad Pitt.

Metro: Ciutadella Vila Olímpica Station (Yellow Line, L4)

Santa Caterina Market by EMBT

Santa Caterina Market by EMBT

This is a food market building near the Barcelona Cathedral. This is an interesting structure that caused a lot of controversy immediately after its construction. However, people eventually fell in love with him. As is often the case with architecture, the buildings that cause the most controversy eventually become the most successful and legendary.

The only thing I don’t like about this building is that it feels more like a postcard rather than practical. The most distinctive feature of the building, the colorful mosaic on the roof, is not visible from the ground. However, the folds of the roof allow a glimpse of the characteristic pattern.

Metro: Jaume 1 (Yellow Line, L4)

Work communication tower Norman Foster


Tower is a superb example of Norman Foster’s high-tech style. He is one of the pioneers of this style – the idea is to bring out parts of the building, usually hidden from view, the communication of the building.

Norman Foster communication tower (near view) Communication tower by Norman Foster

Football fans might be interested to know that Norman Foster designed the additions to Camp Nou.

Metro: Av Tibidabo (Blue Line, L5)

(if you go to the tower at the weekend, it’s best to take the T2 bus from Plaça de Catalunya)

Museum of Modern Art by Richard Meier

Museum of Modern Art by Richard Meier

This building gives the impression of composition, like a painting by Mondrian. The building is often praised for the space it created in the Raval area. MACBA Square in front of the building is known for its energy – the building has created a space for walking and socializing where people gather to spend time.

The building is also praised for the layout and the way it was built. Raval is one of the poorest neighborhoods in Barcelona – locals were trained to get involved in the construction and work in the building. Thus, the local population could participate in the appearance of a new building in their area.

Metro: Universitat (Red Line, L1) and (Purple Line, L2)

Olympic Flame by Santiago Calatrava

Olympic Flame by Santiago Calatrava

Santiago Calatrava is from Valencia and one of the most celebrated architects in Spain. He also created a science park in Valencia. He is said to have been inspired by the skeletons of animals and the way they move in most of his work.

Any advice for those who are going to touch the architecture of Barcelona?

Anyone interested in contemporary architecture should definitely visit the Mies Van de Rohe pavilion. This is one of the first examples of modern architecture, which also became revolutionary in its time. For architects and lovers of modern architecture, the pavilion has become almost a place of pilgrimage.

Modern architecture in Barcelona – travel and more — LiveJournal

Barcelona – forever young, daring and always insanely interesting! During its two thousand years of history, this Mediterranean capital has changed its appearance more than once. He made a great contribution to the individuality of the city in the middle of the 19th century. architect Ildefonso Cerda. Its octagonal blocks are still considered innovative, but at the same time the most optimal solution for organizing urban space.

But Barcelona was rejuvenated and radically rejuvenated by the 1992 Olympic Games and the World Forum of Cultures 2004. It was then that unusual skyscrapers of various shapes and colors appeared on the streets of the city. Famous world architects, inspired by the work of Gaudí, presented their most daring projects, and the city authorities gladly allowed them to be implemented.

Agbar Tower

Agbar Tower is one of the symbols of the “new Barcelona”. It was created by the French architect Jean Nouvel, with funding from the Akbar Group, after which it got its name.

The shape of the building is inspired by the idea of ​​the water element, the bizarre outlines of the rocks of the Montserrat massif and the bell towers of the Sagrada Familia.

The tower is clad in multicolored metal panels containing about 4,000 lighting fixtures. They form complex color combinations (up to 16 million colors), creating the effect of a kind of “pixelated” color – from afar, the pixels merge, and it seems that the tower shimmers with all the colors of the rainbow.

Design Museum

A new pavilion of the Design Museum opened in 2014 in a building resembling a giant anvil (or fairy-tale creature) next to the Agbar Tower.
This is a scientific and museum center that brings together the most important art collections of the museums in Barcelona for decorative arts and design.

Interiors, decorative arts, textiles and clothing, tableware and graphic design – each floor has its own theme. The most interesting is “Silhouettes and Fashion”, which tells the evolution of the female figure and the development of fashion through a huge collection of costumes. Collection of bras and corsets from the beginning to the present day.

For those who are more interested in interior design, here is an incredible collection of home furniture in all possible shapes and curves.

Museum of Modern Art

The museum building was designed by the famous American architect Richard Mayer. The author created a snow-white building that fully meets the modernist style. Here, simple geometric volumes and glass planes are surprisingly intertwined. In general, the building stands out against the background of other museums in Barcelona.

The grand opening of the museum took place at the end of November 1995. Now, collections are exhibited here, collected from works of art, work on which was carried out mainly in the second half of the last century. Several expositions of the museum present the works of contemporary artists.

Gran Via Exhibition Center

Gran Via is one of the largest and most modern exhibition centers in Europe.

The world famous Japanese architect Toyo Ito worked on its creation. His architectural masterpieces – the Braj pavilion in Belgium, the Serpentine Gallery pavilion in London, the media library in the Japanese city of Sendai – are rightfully considered the standard of architectural art.

Biomedical Research Institute

Designed by architects Manel Brullet and Albert de Pineda, this building is considered one of the largest buildings in Barcelona. It has 12 floors: 3 underground and 9 ground.

The building is made in the form of a horseshoe, in the middle of which there is a central hall. The façade of the institute is covered with panels of red cedar and glass and is slightly elevated above the ground.

Fira port towers

Porta Fira Hotel’s spectacular tower in the Catalan capital was designed by renowned Japanese architect Toyo Ito and built in 2009. Tourists and locals are amazed by the organic shape of the tower and the incredible texture of its facades, which is the result of the use of red aluminum pipes. It is these metal elements that give the walls of the hotel the effect of vibration and serve as blinds. The Porta Fira tower is considered one of the major masterpieces of deconstructivism in the world.

By the way, another masterpiece of Toyo Ito is located in Barcelona – the Suites Avenue Hotel.

Barcelona Forum

The Forum building was designed by the Swiss architect Herzog & de Meuron and built especially for the 2004 Forum of Cultures in the capital of Catalonia.

In plan, this avant-garde building is an equilateral triangle with sides of 180 meters and a height of 25 meters. Of particular interest are the facades of the building with curvilinear glass panels stretching across the entire height of the complex. This stunning building plays a vital role in shaping the image of modern Barcelona.

Currently, the Forum houses the Blue Museum, whose expositions vividly tell about the emergence and development of our planet.

Diagonal Zero Zero Tower Business Center

Diagonal Zero Zero Tower business center is located next to the Forum.

The high-rise 25-storey building of the business center was designed by the architectural bureau EMBA. The facade of the tower, which has the shape of a rhombus, is decorated with intersecting aluminum profiles. Through the glazed walls of the skyscraper, you can see both the city center and the coastal zone.

Diagonal Zero Zero Tower is the most beautiful building in the area, surrounded by detached buildings, and plays an important role in the architectural appearance of the city.

Mare Nostrum Tower

The Mare Nostrum Tower was the last work of the architect Enric Miralles. The second architect was Benedetta Tagliabiu. The construction of this twenty-two-story structure with a height of 86 meters lasted two years and was completed in 2005 – the Mare Nostrum tower became the headquarters for the gas company Gas Natural.

The original building immediately stood out in the architecture of the city: a spectacular building of glass and steel structures became a bright example of the high-tech style of late modernism.

The original fragmented structure gives the impression that the building is surrounded by water on all sides. The architects achieved this not only with the help of the construction, but also due to the different colors of the glass – on the facades you can see the colors from light blue to dark blue. In addition, thanks to the panels that cover the outer layer of the building, it never looks the same – its appearance depends on the weather, the light, and the place from which you view the tower.

Media-TIC building

Another marvel of Barcelona architecture is the futuristic Media-TIC building.

This bright green cube by the architect Enric Roulet-Geli is impossible to miss. It stands out for everyone: both asymmetrical facades and polygon pillows located at different angles.

The material used by Enric to cover the façade protects the building from the sun in summer, but still allows light to enter. In addition, the film is charged by ordinary light even on a cloudy day, allowing the structure to glow at night for eight hours. And thanks to the use of environmentally friendly energy sources, the amount of carbon dioxide emissions was reduced by 90%.

Justice City

Justice City is a project designed by architect David Chipperfield.
Barcelona’s judicial institutions used to be located in 17 buildings scattered throughout the city. The new complex in the northwest of the capital of Catalonia was supposed to unite them in one place.