Spring is a time for change and renewal. We honored the idea and decided to visit Barcelona’s Plaça de les Glòries, whose transformation and revitalization is one of the biggest urbanistic challenges our city faces today. With our latest newsletter we would like to invite you to take our virtual tour of the square and its surroundings.
Demolition of Plaça de les Glòries Ring Road Overpass
Les Glòries – Farewell to the Concrete Flyover
At this time, hardly any other place in Barcelona illustrates the changing face of the city as much as Plaça de les Glòries does, situated in the vicinity of Jean Nouvel’s Torre Agbar and the recently opened Disseny Hub Barcelona, designed by MBM Arquitectes. In February demolition work began on the massive network of elevated highways that had been erected in preparation for the city’s 1992 Olympic Games. The demolition process is expected to last until September, giving nostalgics ample time to say goodbye to the bizarre construction.
Architectural Model of the Winning Proposal “Canòpia Urbana”, © Agence Ter & Ana Coello
Canòpia Urbana – Back to Nature
Back in 1859, Ildefons Cerdà launched his extension plan of Barcelona and situated the city center at the intersection of Barcelona’s main avenues Diagonal, Gran Via and Meridiana. Over a century and a half later, it finally looks like Plaça de les Glòries could be on its way to becoming the urban center Cerdà envisioned for Barcelona: Architects Agence Ter & Ana Coello have won the restricted design competition aimed at redesigning the strategic square. Their project “Canòpia Urbana” focuses on sustainability and renaturation and is expected to transform the longtime transport node into a large park and bustling oasis right in the heart of the city by 2018. The website of the Ayuntamiento de Barcelona offers extensive documentation on the winners’ and all finalists’ projects. This short promotional video is a good introduction to the main ideas of the winning entry.
Encants Nous Flea Market
Els Encants Nous – From Old to New
As part of the redevelopment of Les Glòries, Barcelona’s largest and oldest flea market was relocated from its original location to an adjacent site and has been shining in renewed splendour since last year’s reopening. The Barcelona-based architectural practice b720 designed the new market as an open platform beneath a highly visible, faceted canopy. Its mirrored ceiling reflects the city when observed from inside and the market when seen from outside, creating a continuously changing surface. It acts like a giant kaleidoscope that captures and amplifies the essence of the modern, dynamic and cosmopolitan metropolis.
BruumRuum! Interactive Light Installation
BruumRuum! – Let There be Light!
Nightfall brings the area next to the Disseny Hub Barcelona to life. An interactive light installation created by graphic designer David Torrents in collaboration with lighting design practice artec3 combines the city’s noise with responsive illumination, constantly changing its intensity and color. In addition to a large number of small sensors placed at ground level, the installation features four huge, trumpet-like microphones, which invite passersby to enter into dialogue with the public space.