Herzog & de Meuron

February 26, 2007 /

Barcelona, Spain

Photo: Thomas Mayer

The triangular blue concrete building, conceived as a sponge saturated with water, blends with the sky and the Mediterranean Sea.

The Forum building is situated on a gently sloping site between the peripheral streets of the city's orthogonal Cerda grid and the Avenida Diagonal.

Photo: Thomas MayerIn plan the building is a 180 meter equilateral triangle supported on concrete columns.

By lifting the structure off the ground Herzog & de Meuron created a permeable public space underneath that serve as entrances to the building.

Photo: Thomas Mayer

Photo: Thomas Mayer

A series of courtyards that intersect the elevated structure establish a complex interaction between the covered open spaces and the various levels of the Forum building, constantly creating new viewing angles and changing light effects.

Photo: Thomas Mayer

Photo: Thomas Mayer

Photo: Thomas Mayer

The courtyards are of many different shapes and sizes, and have different amounts of reflective material in them - sometimes just a shard of mirrored glass, and in other places a complete internal lining of glass or gold steel panels.

Photo: Thomas Mayer

Photo: Thomas Mayer

Instead of planning the building as an independent object in an open public space, we decided to design a structure that would both generate and articulate this public space. These considerations almost inevitably led to the proposal of an elevated, flat triangular form. Not only does this form correspond ideally to the project perimeter, covering the entire area within, it is also a perfect expression of the specific location of this site.

/Herzog & de Meuron

Besides the exhibition space, located in the blue triangle, the building contains a 3,200 seat auditorium, located below the plaza level.

Photo: Thomas Mayer

Photo: Thomas Mayer

You enter the building beneath the gently undulating and shimmering water soffit covered entirely in triangular plates of patterned stainless steel. The floors, both inside and outside, are black tarmac. The golden entrance doorway are framed in glass with the top cut into the blue triangle.

Photo: Thomas Mayer

Photo: Thomas Mayer

Photo: Thomas Mayer

The exterior glazing visually reflects the sky linking the water-covered roof with the water-like soffit below. Water flowing from the roof keep the building cool in summer.

Photo: Thomas Mayer

The project came into being when Barcelona in the 1990s, with UNESCO support, decided to organise the first World Cultural Forum. The four-and-a-half month of conferences, dialogues, concerts, exhibitions and other events intended to bring together the world community in celebration of its heritage and in discussion about its future.

Facts about Forum

Total area:

45,000 m2


Herzog & de Meuron

Infrastructures del Llevante de Barcelona S.A.

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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