The new design headquarter in Barcelona
The building is the work of MBM Arquitectes, the architecture studio formed by Josep Martorell, Oriol Bohigas and David Mackay, together with Oriol Capdevila and Francesc Gual. The edifice is made up of two parts: one underground (which takes advantage of the slope created by urban development of the plaza) and another which emerges at 14.5 m (at the level of Plaça de les Glòries).
Construction below the height of 14.5 m. Most of the surface area of the building is situated below the 14.5 m level and is where the more significant installations are housed. They are distributed over two floors and a gallery, and include the main exhibition hall, rooms given over to management and preservation of the DHUB's collections, the main offices, Clot public library, the documentation centre (DHUBdoc) and rooms for research and educational activities, in addition to high-traffic services such as the bar, restaurant and store. Though below ground level, the basement floor receives natural light from a trench which is worked into the different ground levels and which features a huge lake, creating a dialogue with the outside. Lighting is reinforced with six skylights that look out over the public space and can also be used as showcases for the centre’s contents and activities.
Construction above the height of 14.5 m. This part of the building projects over the width of Carrer d’Àvila and has the shape of a slanted parallelepiped. In accordance with the general urban plan it occupies a minimum footprint, primarily in order not to reduce the space earmarked for public use, but also because the vicissitudes of plans to demolish the elevated road and change the tramline route severely limit the space available. The building cantilevers out towards the plaça, enabling the construction potential to be met while at the same time establishing a display of urban architecture over the motorway. This block will house the venues for long- and short-term temporary exhibitions, as well as a small hall and a large auditorium.
Entrance to both parts or bodies that compose the DHUB headquarters is gained through a single vestibule with two points of access: one in Carrer d’Àvila and another in Plaça de les Glòries. Passage through this part of the building is almost inevitable, as it forms a kind of corridor connecting Plaça de les Glòries, the 22@ technological district and Poblenou. All of the services situated in the basement area can be reached from this semi-public plaza, as well as those on the upper floors by means of a system of escalators, staircases and lifts. While the different spaces have diverse dimensions and architectural characteristics, overall they form a conceptual whole in which the Auditorium stands aloft as a fundamental and crowning feature.
Only two materials are used in the building’s exterior, zinc plates and glass, bestowing an industrial feel with metallic accents on the building. The green carpet of the artificial flooring and bright graphics on the pavement are two of the primary components of the outside surfaces. In both cases, the elements employed (natural and manufactured) ensure sustainability and ease of maintenance. The lake, in addition to visually highlighting the work, creates a link between the different levels.
Distribution of space
The building’s internal organisation is uniform and neutral, making the entire space flexible and adaptable to the inevitable functional changes that will come about with the passing of time.
The net floor area of the building amounts to 25,000 m2. A preliminary programme for use of the main spaces in these installations could be the following