DAY 21: Barcelona, Spain


The science architecture:

It’s a strange enough feeling being in Germany, and an even stranger one to be in Spain only two hours later. After arriving around 11 in the morning, we immediately began our architecture rendevous in Spain. Rolf and Joachim had the next 3 days booked.

First stop was the Media-ITC building located down the street from our Melon District hotel. It’s a newer building in this industrial section of Barcelona, winner of numerous prizes for its innovations in building performance techniques. Each of the four facades performs in a different manner in response to the environment, particularly the intense Barcelona sunlight. The east facade is probably the most unique, covered in these petal-like pillows of air that mitigate sunlight and insulate the interior. The north facade is just a curtain wall, while the south side actually has nitrogen within the double wall curtain system so that the glass will fog depending on the sunlight. The west shows the structure of the building, where again petal-like connections keep the building in tension. As we toured the building, program was rather scarce, despite the busy designs of the elevations. The glass was so clean that at one point, Joachim walked into it while trying to go on the terrace!

The tour also included meeting the architect, Enric Ruiz Geli of Cloud 9, and hearing his salesman-like spiel about how he thinks this is the best building in Barcelona. Besides his ego influencing the whole tour, the trip to the roof of the building was definitely a highlight. It’s roof garden was the most attractive part and the views of Barcelona fun to see on the first day.


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