Barcelona Architecture, Building, Photos, Designs, Developments, Pictures, News

Barcelona Architecture : Buildings

Key Property + Architectural Developments in Catalonia, Spain, Europe

Barcelona Architecture : links

Barcelona Architecture

Park Guell Barcelona
photo © Adrian Welch

Arquitectura España

Barcelona is capital of Catalonia (Catalunya), an autonomous region of Spain. It is Spain’s major Mediterranean port and famous for Gaudi, Dali, Miro and Picasso. The city is strong commercially compared to the rest of Spain in an similar way to say Milan and the rest of Italy. The Olympics were staged in Barcelona in 1992 and provided a legacy of good contemporary architecture with many buildings by famous architects.

Catalonia Architecture Guide

The most famous Barcelona building is surely Sagrada Familia by Spanish architect Gaudi. Still under construction, we feature photos of this iconic piece of architecture. The centre of the city – Barri Gothic – is formed from a Roman village, tight-knit alleys, squares and charming cheek-by-jowl buildings. Located outwith is a civilised grid of avenues, Eixample, cut through by the Diagonal. This order is terminated by the hills that ring Barcelona, and of course the Mediterranean Sea.

Barcelona Architecture : key buildings (this page)

Barcelona Buildings : A-B

Barcelona Architecture Designs : C-E

Barcelona Building Developments : F-L

Barcelona Building Designs : M-Z

Sagrada Familia Barcelona
picture © Adrian Welch

Key Barcelona Buildings

The buildings below are unmissable on any visit.

Barcelona Architecture Walking Tours
We do walking and cycling tours of the city – contact to ask for details.

Catalan Architecture, chronological:

Barcelona Cathedral Building, Barri Gotic

Barcelona Cathedral building
image © AW
Historic architecture located in the city centre.


Sagrada Familia
Antoni Gaudi, Architect
Sagrada Familia Barcelona
photograph © Adrian Welch
Probably the most stunning piece of Spanish architecture, a wild and inventive building. Gaudi could be described as a surrealist architect and his work has some resonance with the work of Surrealist artist Salvador Dali. This iconic Barcelona building uses caricatures in stone to portray the story of Christianity but its flamboyance has made it a symbol for the city as a whole.


Casa Batlo, Eixample
Antoni Gaudi, Architect
Casa Batlo building
photo © Isabelle Lomholt
Casa Batllo is the smaller and earlier of the Gaudi buildings on Passeig de Gracia. The building is delightfully organic with a writhing sculptural facade that brings the street to life.


Casa Mila Barcelona – La Pedrera
Antoni Gaudi, Architect
La Pedrera building
picture © Adrian Welch
Casa Mila – ‘The Quarry’: – is a beautiful sculptural building that expresses pure tectonic delight and unlike Sagrada Familia (also by Antoni Gaudi) its architecture is simpler and less specific, therefore in many ways more sophisticated. Gaudi has taken stone and moulded it like lava, achieving pure drama.


Park Guell Barcelona, north of the city
Antoni Gaudi, Architect
Park Guell Barcelona
image © AW
Classic Gaudi Architecture
A great place to relax, enjoy the coutryside and gain great views out over Barcelona. The best Gaudi architecture is at the lower, south end of Park Guell, primarily close to the southern entry. A fantastic pink house, the home of Antoni Gaudi for around 20 years is in the middle of the lower section.
Barcelona Pavilion building, Hill of Montjuic
Mies van der Rohe, Architect
Barcelona Pavilion building
picture © Adrian Welch
World-famous Modern Architecture
For many architects this is their favourite building – it is elegant, beautifuly proportioned and made with quality materials. The detailing is exquisite. The integration of water through two shallow pools brings calmness and reflection to the pavilion.
Montjuic Tower, Hill of Montjuic
Santiago Calatrava, Architect
iconic Barcelona building
photos © AW
This iconic Barcelona building 136m high. It is very stylised like many Calatrava buildings. The design could be read as a piece of sculpture carved from pure white marble, or as half a dough-ring speared by a bloated toothpick. This is a show-off building designed to be seen from all over Barcelona to symbolise the power of the Olympic Games coming to Catalonia.


Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art
Richard Meier & Partners, Architects
photograph © Adrian Welch
Typical Richard Meier building with rectilinear elements expressed in white metal panels and key parts in white render as organic forms in plan. The architects have created lyrical forms – the building appears successful from many angles. The architect could have engaged more with the context of Barcelona architecture as the building appears similar to ones designed for other cities.
Barcelona Forum Building, Diagonal Mar
Herzog & de Meuron Architects
Edifici Fòrum
image © Adrian Welch
Rather severe building with rough dark blue lavaesque treatment to facades spiced up with cut-outs and jerky glazed strips. These strips are striated with mirrors trying to reduce the weight of the ‘floating blue cheesecake’. Below the macho cantilevers lies what on my visit appeared to be a no-man’s land of patterns and blank facades.


Santa Caterina Market, Barri Gotic
Enric Miralles / Benedetta Tagliabue EMBT
Santa Caterina Market
picture © Isabelle Lomholt
This redevelopment is, like many Barcelona buildings featured, an organic piece of architecture. The interior is functional and not trying to be cool, allowing the market traders to sell their wares in time-honoured tradition. Seen from street level the Santa Caterina facades are moderately playful with changing rhythms, but overshadowed by the roof in more ways than one.


Agbar Tower, Barcelona skyscraper
Jean Nouvel Architects
Torre Agbar
photo © AW
This skyscraper building is 142m high, the third highest in Barcelona in 2005. Designed by French architects – a controversy emerged surrounding how similar the design was to Foster + Partner’s Swiss Re tower in London.


Nou Camp Stadium Barcelona Building
Foster + Partners, Architects
Nou Camp Stadium Barcelona
image : Foster + Partners
Barcelona FC will cancel the €250m building redesign by British architect Norman Foster as part of a plan to reduce spending. The architects won the redesign of the 98,000-seat Camp Nou arena in 2007.


Porta Fira Hotel
Toyo Ito & Associates / b720
Porta Fira Hotel
photo from FCC
Hotel Porta Fira was designed by the Japanese architecture firm Toyo Ito & Associates and the Spanish firm b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos. The 26-floor hotel tower is 113 m high and located in one of Barcelona’s busiest areas. The lead architect won the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in 2013.


Torre Diagonal Zero Zero
Torre Diagonal Zero Zero
photo : EMBA
A contextual tower that has a double reading, from near and afar, in response to the two scales that such tall buildings must address. Taking the urban directions that form the perimeter of the plot as generators of its form, the building is a trapezoidal prism, sharp and stylized, a clean and serene form, whitish and light.


Barcelona Architects

Barcelona Pavilion Photos
El Pavelló Alemany
photo © AW

Antoni Gaudi buildings

Architecture in Barcelona

Key Catalan buildings, alphabetical:

CCIB Building, Diagonal Mar
Mateo Arquitectura
CCIB Barcelona Building
photo © Adrian Welch

CCIB Barcelona
La Fundació Joan Miró, Parc de Montjuïc
Josep Lluís Sert, Architect
La Fundació Joan Miró Barcelona
photo © AW

Joan Miro Foundation Buildings
Cloud 9 – World Building of the Year 2011
Media TIC
photograph from architect
Media-ICT Barcelona

Barcelona Public Spaces – Plazas + Parques in the city

PaPlaça Reial
picture © AW
Barcelona Parks & Squares

More Barcelona Architecture welcome

To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.

Catalan Architecture

Barcelona Architecture Photos
Parc de Diagonal Mar
image © Adrian Welch
Barcelona Architecture Photos

Barcelona Architecture News

Col.legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya:
Catalonian Architects’ Website with links to Barcelona Architecture + Architects

Architecture in Barcelona
Barcelona is a favourite destination among architecture buffs and interested travellers looking to marvel at the sheer genius of Gaudí’s structures, the intricate designs of the Catalan Modernist movement and, of course, the historic masterpieces of Ancient Rome.

Comments / photos for the Barcelona Architecture page welcome

Barcelona Buildings : page

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