New buildings in Barcelona. High tech
At the turn of the century, there were no significant changes in the future of Barcelona, which continued to rely on innovation and design as projects, along with the use of new technologies and a commitment to sustainable development.
Stylistically, the turn of the century was again marked by eclecticism borrowed from postmodern theories, while it received great influence from international currents such as high-tech and deconstructivism.
One of the most important events of the new millennium was the celebration of the World Forum of Cultures in 2004, which allowed new urban changes in the city. The Agbar Tower (La Torre Agbar, 2000-2005), designed by Jean Nouvel, is one of the most emblematic buildings built in the new millennium.
It is made in high-tech style, has a height of 145 m and the shape of an oval cylinder.
At the same time, the new Gas Natural headquarters (1999-2006), the work of Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue, the Jaume Fuster Library (2001-2004) and the Island of Light residential complex (Illa de la Llum, 2002-2005), as well as the reconstruction of the Barceloneta market (2002-2007).
Of particular note is the Forum building (2000-2004) by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron – the current headquarters of the Natural Sciences Museum of Barcelona – with a low triangular floor plan with a distribution of several courtyards that create open spaces and the rough, indigo blue façade, cut by several strips of glass.
Among the buildings of the following years, it is worth mentioning: Park for Biomedical Research (2006), a truncated cone-shaped building covered with wooden slats, the Habitat Sky Hotel (2004-2007), a 120 m high skyscraper, consisting of two vertical buildings, the W Barcelona Hotel, also known as Hotel Vela (2009), a 99-meter ship-shaped building with a glazed canopy façade, Telecommunications Commission headquarters building (2008-2010), Media-TIC building (2010), Telefónica’s diagonal ZeroZero tower (2008-2011), Disseny Hub, which houses the Barcelona Design Museum (2008-2013), Fira de Bellcaire or Encants Vells (2013), a canopy-shaped structure covering the Encants market, consisting of several modules with different angles to reflect light.
Other works from these years: International Center for Advanced Medicine (2004), Hilton Diagonal Mar Hotel (2005), Sant Jordi College (2006), UPF Department Building (1996-2007), Mediapro Building (2005-2008), Illa del Residential Building -Mar (2008), Kahn Framis Museum (2007-2009), Suites Avenue Building (2009), Eye Microsurgery Institute (2009), Blau Building (2009), GAES Headquarters (2008-2010) and Vodafone Building (2012) …
The economic crisis that began in 2008 paralyzed many architectural projects, ending several years of construction by world renowned architects.
Millennium Urbanism has strengthened the “multi-core grid” structure promoted since the 1990s, fostering new urban centers such as Forum, 22 @ and La Sagrera.
Connectivity has improved with the advent of high-speed transport linking the Catalan capital with Madrid and Paris – El Prat port and airport have been expanded to make Barcelona a logistics hub for southern Europe.
The metro network has also been expanded with the expansion of several lines (L3 and L5) and the creation of some new ones (lines L9, L10 and L11), fully automated.
Photo: Alex Monroe