CosmoCaixa Barcelona

  • Location_ Teodoro Roviralta 55, Barcelona
  • Total Floor Area_ 40.900 m2
  • Budget_ 57.096.100 €
  • Date_ 2004
  • Client_ Fundación La Caixa
  • Awards_ - 1st Prize Competition, 1996
    - Best European Museum, 2006
    - Finalist FAD'05 Awards for Architecture, 2005
    - Special Mention Ciutat de Barcelona Award, 2004
  • Consultants_ Structures: STATIC
    Systems: Milian Asociados
    Acoustics: Higini Arau
    Quantity Surveyor: Javier Toledo

The fundamental idea of the project was to work with the space in which the new building was to be inserted. This new building had to highlight the existing Modernista buildings: the Valdoncella Convent (1910), the building dating from 1909 where the former science museum was located and a small neighbourhood of old single-family dwellings. At the same time, it had to create a meeting point in the neighbourhood where there are also several university buildings.

Despite the size of the project (50,000 m2, ten times the Modernista building), it was not to have an excessively high-profile presence or disfigure the urban setting. The building, therefore, is located underground, taking advantage of the natural slope of the site and generating a public plaza, Science Square. This square covers the expository space which is right beneath it, bounded by long crack-like skylights that provide a constant outdoor reference for the underground areas.

In this way, the Modernista building, once restored, recovers its importance as it presides over the Science Square and the neighbourhood improves the quality of its urban space.