In the last decade, Barcelona has noticeably renovated its skyline, with many new architectonically bold buildings giving the city a fresh face. Notable amongst these modern constructions is the new corporate headquarters of .
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Gas Natural is a Spanish natural gas company. Although they are based in Barcelona, their operations cover a large number of countries, with the brand being present in Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Moldova and Morocco. In addition to the distribution of natural gas, they also generate and commercialize electricity in Spain and some other countries. With close to 10 million clients and over 6,500 employees, this is no small company – and they wanted a building that reflected exactly that.
Projected by the architect duo of Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue, Gas Natural’s impressive building was inaugurated in 2008. Located in the Barcelona neighbourhood of Barceloneta, by the city’s seafront, it’s innovative design allows it to simultaneously stand out and blend into its surroundings.
An enormous, unconventionally shaped glass tower that quickly became a reference point in its area of the city, it was imagined as a symbol of sustainability, a company value that is evident once we notice the many solar panels that cover its lowest sections. Perhaps less obvious to the naked eye are its energy-efficient, low emissivity windows, which allow for more sensible energy management and optimize thermal conditions inside the building – keeping it cool in the summertime and warm during the winter, with a reduced need for energy-draining climate control solutions such as air conditioners.
The simplicity and cleanliness of the volumes that make up the tower, together with the imposing strength and expressivity of over 3,500 tons of iron and crystal, have earned Gas Natural the prestigious Quatrium award for the most innovative company building.
As part of an exhibition on new architectural trends in Spain, the project’s mock-up model was on display at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMa), having afterward been acquired by that same institution.
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Famous all over the world for the beauty and impressiveness of its historical buildings, Barcelona continues to honour the genius of masters like Gaudí and Cadafalch with this and many other creative works that make the city seem like a huge outdoors architecture museum. Will you take a close look at the awe-inspiring Gas Natural building the next time you’re in Barceloneta? Let us know using the comment box below.
Have fun discovering the many wonders of Barcelona!
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