Tricentenari · GA Barcelona Architectural Guide 02/2014


Dear architecture lovers,

The National Day of Catalonia, La Diada Nacional, is celebrated every 11th of September. It commemorates the surrender of Barcelona to the Bourbon monarchy on September 11th, 1714, and the loss of Catalonia's political freedom in the wake of the Spanish Succession War. This year Catalonia is celebrating the 300th anniversary of its defeat: El Tricentenari.
Architecture is an essential part of the cultural identity of a society and a mirror when it comes to social and political ideologies and therefore plays a central role within Barcelona's year-long tercentenary celebrations. We decided to join the commemorations and make the historic anniversary the main topic of our summer newsletter. You are invited to take a short trip to the past, present and future of Barcelona.

Best regards,
Your GA Barcelona team

Mercat del Born


El Born - The Catalan "Ground Zero"

The economic center of the medieval town was situated in what is today considered one of Barcelona's trendiest neighborhoods, El Born. After the siege and fall of the city in 1714, a major part of the district was demolished to make way for a massive, no longer existing, citadel used by the Bourbon dynasty to keep the citizens under military control. Back then, Barcelona lost about one-fifth of its residential buildings, and many residents were forced to relocate elsewhere.
In February 2002, restoration and conversion works on the old market Mercat del Born unearthed the remains of some of the townhouses destroyed 300 years ago, returning an important fragment of Catalan history that had been thought lost forever.


El Born Centre Cultural

El Born Centre Cultural - Staged history

Completed in 1876 by Josep Fontseré i Mestres, the Mercat del Born was the first covered market throughout the Iberian peninsula that followed the example of French wrought iron constructions. After its closure in 1977, the municipality decided to convert the historic building into the Provincial Library of Barcelona, but the archaeological finds literally ruined the project. Carried out by local architects Enric Sòria and Rafael de Cáceres Zurita, the new project integrates the remains of the medieval town into the market hall. A bridge-like structure allows the historical site to be publicly accessible.
Thus, the politically charged ruins do not only constitute the centerpiece of the new cultural center, but have also become an integral part of the surrounding urban fabric. El Born Cultural Centre opened its doors to the public on September 11th, 2013, and serves as the home venue of the tercentenary until September 11th, 2014.


Democràcia - Plaça de la Mercé


BCN RE.SET - Back to the present

On the occasion of the commemorative year, the Barcelona City Council invited six international architectural practices to create temporary site-specific installations for several public spots across the old town. All architectural interventions were developed in close cooperation with Barcelona's leading architecture and design schools and revolve around the concepts of identity, freedom and democracy, among others. The resulting urban itinerary of ephemeral architecture can be visited during the summer months, and will be removed after September 11th, 2014.
BCN RE.SET has been coordinated by local architect Benedetta Tagliabue (EMBT), and, beside her own work, comprises installations of Odile Decq, Peter Cook & Yael Reisner (see photo above), Grafton Architects, ETH Zürich & Urban-Think Tank, Anupama Kundoo und URBANUS (see photo below).



BCN RE.SET - Postscript

The modular bamboo structure erected in the square next to the Cathedral, Plaça Nova, has been designed by the Chinese architecture collective URBANUS and developed in dialogue with students of the local School of Architecture La Salle. Linked to the theme of identity, the construction not only reminds visitors of the old Roman aqueduct that once stood there, but also hints at traditional Catalan vaulting techniques.
Our GA Barcelona team associate Josep Ferrando, who also works as assistant professor at La Salle, took an active role in the construction of the pavilion. We are therefore particularly thrilled by the project's positive outcome.


Intrigued? On our Classic Tour Barcino, you will learn more about the recent developments in the El Born district and the historical events of 1714. During the summer months our itinerary will include a visit to some of the temporary installations.


Until September 11th, 2014, we are also offering a project-specific tour through the old town that follows the urban itinerary of ephemeral architecture proposed by BCN RE.SET.

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FAB10 From Fab Labs to Lab Cities

This year, Barcelona will host the 10th International Fab Lab Conference, the largest international symposium on digital fabrication. The Catalan capital is the first city worldwide that undertakes to implement a comprehensive network of public fab labs.


Different locations

July 2nd to 8th, 2014

+ Info

Making Of BCN RE.SET

In parallel with the urban itinerary of ephemeral architecture BCN RE.SET, the Enric Miralles Foundation presents an exhibition that provides background information on the ideas, design process and construction of all seven participating installations.


Fundació Enric Miralles
Until September 11th, 2014
+ Info

Paisatges de Barcelona

“Landscapes of Barcelona” presents a series of paintings and drawings created by the young Picasso showing mainly Barcelona’s seafront and urban areas. The works from the Museu Picasso’s permanent collection are presented alongside historical photographs.


Museu Picasso

Until September 14th, 2014
+ Info

Park(ing) Day Barcelona

Park(ing) Day is an annual event where architects, artists, and activists from over 170 cities worldwide transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks.


Different locations
September 19th, 2014
+ Info

De Miró a Barcelona

The exhibition shows sketches, preparatory models and other documents of the main works Joan Miró conceived for the city: the airport mural, the pavement mosaic on La Rambla, the Fundació Joan Miró, and a monumental sculpture for the Parc de Cervantes, a project that did not materialize. 


Fundació Joan Miró
Until November 2nd, 2014
+ Info


We look forward to seeing you on an upcoming tour. Please feel free to contact us for more information about our tour options. Of course, we are always happy to tailor our services to meet your specific needs.

Send us an email. Or call us: +34 654 016 445

GA Barcelona Team

Prof. Hans Geilinger
Patricia Tamayo
Lorenzo Kárász
Josep Ferrando Bramona
Ana Fernandez
Stefanie Herr
Ulrich A. Kölle

GA Barcelona

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