DHUB, Barcelona Building, Catalonia Development, Spain Museum, Spanish Architecture
Barcelona Design Museum, Catalonia
Spanish Building Development – design by MBM Arquitectes
3 Jan 2014
This unusual cantilevered building is one of our picks from
Buildings of 2013 : Architecture of the Year
e-architect’s selection of key architectural developments posted on the site in the last year
30 + 29 May 2013
Design: MBM Arquitectes
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Intriguing Catalan architecture – a confident, expressive building by David Mackay / MBM. The ‘Design Hub’ is located on a sloping site beside Jean Nouvelle’s Agbar tower, and very close to the elevated roundabout of a busy motorway. The site is part of a future park which meant that only a small building footprint would be allowed at ground level with the rest of the building underground.
Barcelona Design Museum
In Bruno Zevi’s book “Architecture as Space”, published way back in 1957, he affirms that we cannot understand architecture if we ignore its spatial essence. “Our use of words like rhythm, scale, balance, mass will continue to be vague until we have succeeded in giving them meaning specific to the reality which defines architecture, and that is: space”. Zevi gives us the clue to the question, “What is space?” by observing that architectural space is about the successive displacement in time which he calls the “fourth dimension”. It is this fourth dimension of moving through and around spaces that creates architecture that responds to accommodating a given programme to a particular place. In this way, we can claim that “Form follows Space”.
The Design Museum, or Design Hub as it is now called, is situated on a sloping site, with a drop of about seven meters, on the coastal side of Barcelona’s Plaça de les Glòries, beside Jean Nouvelle’s Agbar tower, and very close to the elevated round-about of a busy motorway. The site is part of a future park which meant that only a small building footprint would be allowed at ground level with the rest of the building underground. It was these restrictions that determined the spatial distribution of the 30,000 m² required by the programme by placing 75% underground along two basement floors. A third basement for mechanical installations will face a sunken lake in the new park. The remaining 25% above ground is balanced on the restricted site, within cantilevers over the street on one side and towards the sea on the other, accommodating a spacious vestibule, four floors for temporary exhibitions and an auditorium.
The position and width of the exposed five floor building is related to one of the streets in Barcelona’s historic (Cerdà) grid —Avila—, using the Renaissance urban composition of closing an axis with a public building. However the street continues in successive displacements —Zevi’s fourth-dimension—through the vestibule directly to the metro station, or up escalators to the Plaça de les Glòries, joining the two neighbourhoods together. This public space gives direct access on either side to the Design Museum, shop, café and the local public library. The demands of a detailed spatial brief and the extraordinary external spatial constraints together define the building’s unique form.
Barcelona Design Museum – Building Information
MBM ARQUITECTES (Martorell, Bohigas, Mackay, Capdevila, Gual)
Coordinator architect: Josep Cardús
Director of the program of the centre: R. Prat
Structure: BOMA SL (R. Brufau, arch.)
Facilities: Grup JG Enginyers Consultors de Projectes
Costs: Tècnics G-3
Acoustic: Arau Acústica
Client: BIMSA (Barcelona d’Infraestructures Municipals S.A.) and ICUB (Institut de Cultura de Barcelona)
Built surface: 29.352 m2
Cost: 67.829.060 €
Construction Company: UTE Acciona – Copcisa
Barcelona Design Museum images / information from MBM Arquitectes
DHUB Barcelona photos by Iñigo Bujedo Aguirre – external link
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Barcelona Design Museum – page