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Torre Agbar

It is visible throughout the city, the colorful building/monument called Torre Agbar. Located at the intersection of Avenida Diagonal and Carrer Badajoz, near Plaça de las Glories, this is one of the most emblematic of Barcelona skyscrapers.

Related article: Modern Architecture in Barcelona

Its history

Photo credit: meenaghd via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC

Photo credit: meenaghd via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC

The name “Agbar” is an acronym for “Aigües de Barcelona,” the company which owned the building until recently. It was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, in cooperation with the firm b720 Fermín Vázquez Architects. Its construction has been heavily influenced by some of the most representative symbols of Catalan culture: firstly by Antoni Gaudí, with a strong reference to Sagrada Familia and the Montserrat mountain. Above all, it has a unique design, which at the time of its inauguration generated a bit of controversy.

This Barcelona icon is 154 meters high, has 34 overground floors ad 4 underground. Two of the underground floors are occupied by an auditorium with a capacity of 315 people. The other two are for parking vehicles. The upper floors are devoted to offices, with three of them reserved for technical use: one for the building maintenance facilities, another dedicated to multipurpose rooms, and the last is one for the cafeteria. The top floor is designed to be a gazebo, just below the dome.

Related article: The greatest 5-star hotels in Barcelona

Its technology

Photo credit: Altamar via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: Altamar via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Seeing the Agbar Tower completely lit up at night is truly amazing. The tower has over 4,500 lighting devices that operate independently, using LED technology, which generates a sequence of lighting effects on the entire facade. It is operated by a computer system that projects 16 million colors and creates independent transitions and without delay, which generates stunning light effects.

The effectiveness of this technology keeps the lights fully lit for an hour, for a cost of about 6 euros. The building is eco-friendly and sustainable, and the 4400 windows are adapted in order not to suffer the effects of the Barcelona sun, which can sometimes be very violent.

Interesting facts

The tower was built by French architect Alain Robert. The name of Torre Agbar was recorded by the company Aigües de Barcelona, with the Spanish Patent and Trademark institution, to use as a brand of alcoholic beverages in 2007.

The tower currently hosts private offices only, which means that it is not possible to visit it on the inside. You can, however, take a peak at the entrance hall. But the future of the tower is already linked to the hospitality industry since it was acquired by the American group Hyatt and will be converted in one of their luxury hotels soon.

AddressAv. Diagonal, 211

About the author

Mae-Lise De Sousa

Barcelona is Maé-Lise's favorite city in all of Europe. Her articles in ShBarcelona share her journey through the Catalan capital.

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