Barcelona is well-known for its architecture. La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi, Parc Guell, and other modernist gems. But the city also has a completely different architectural side. Welcome to the best introduction to the rich heritage of brutalist architecture in Barcelona.
What is Brutalist Architecture?
In general terms, Brutalism can be identified as architecture with massive bulky structures, visible concrete exteriors, few and relatively small windows. Such buildings are visually very powerful and produce an immediate love or hate reaction. For instance, my sister, who is an architect, hates it. But I LOVE it 🙂
Brutalism is modern style of architecture featuring mostly raw concrete. Its name originated from the french expression “beton brut”, usually attributed to the well-known Swiss architect Le Corbusier.
Brutalism is similar and related to constructivism and socialist modernism. These styles are very common in the post-Communist countries such as Russia, Romania, and also in some Central American, Asian, and African countries.
In the former Socialist area of influence, socialist realism usually accompanies the buildings in the form of mosaics, metal relieves, or statues of heroic workers or figures. In Spain, both architecture and such art are very hard to find and generally exclusively found in big cities.
Best Brutalist Architecture in Barcelona
In Barcelona, brutalist architecture is very rare. Additionally, most citizens and architects oppose it, since it does not fit the general style of the city. Nonetheless, get ready to discover the best brutalist buildings in Barcelona:
Built by Ricardo Bofill in 1975. Located in Sant Just Desvern. This massive housing project spans over 30.000 sqm and is one of the most interesting sights for archi-nerds like me.
This building designed by Pedro López, Xavier Subias, Guillermo Giráldez is part of the Campus Nord of the University of Barcelona.
Designed by Mario Catala Nebot, this bulding contrasts harshly with the surrounding projects in the central Eixample neighbourhood.
The Planeta Building was the head office of the Grupo Planeta until 2017. It’s located on Av. Diagonal, 662-664, 08034 Barcelona, Spain. Subway Maria Cristina, L3 (green).
Former Faculty of History & Geography, University of Barcelona
The faculty has since moved to a more central location in the Raval Neighbourhood.
The original silhouette of the University of Barcelona Bellvitge Hospital in L’Hospitalet.
Do You Like Brutalist Architecture Too?
While clearly not the main style of the city, brutalist architecture in Barcelona enriches its architectural diversity.
In case you prefer the traditional modernist style, skip the above and head to the The 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites By Gaudi You Can’t Miss
Do you have a friend who is also obsessed with concrete buildings? Share this article.