Torre Agbar, Barcelona, Spain

Architects: Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Paris, Frankreich, with B720, Fermin Vasquez, Barcelona, Spain
Client: Layetana Developments, Barcelona, Spain

»Torre Agbar« is being awarded the International Highrise Award 2006, as it makes an outstanding contribution to the current debate on high-rises at several different levels. It is the symbol for the development of a new district in Barcelona. Its expressive shape, seemingly rising up out of the ground, highlights the pulsating dynamism of a revitalized quarter thanks to urban planning. The architectural form is reduced to an elementary gesture, while remaining complex in terms of geometry. A multi-layer outer skin generates its varied and exciting appearance. Unlike the customary high-rises with their glass curtain facades, the skin of the Torre Agbar responds to the hot Spanish climate. The building's shaft comprises a concrete outer wall that is penetrated seemingly irregularly by individual window openings. In this way, the massive concrete wall provides not only stability for the tower, but also a shield against the heat. An additional outer layer made up of moving glass blinds forms a thermal buffer zone to the massive concrete skin behind it. In this way, an energy-conscious structure emerges using simple intelligent means rather than great technological expense. Inside the building, the off-center arrangement of the core allows for large interconnected rooms that engender a sense of openness and a feeling of community. At night, the skin of the building radiates in colored light. The shimmering shadows of the different strata create an aura that has the feel of a colored cloud about it, enveloping the building in a »sfumato«, a mist of light that gives this magical building an appearance as mysterious as it is exciting.

Torre Agbar, photo: Philippe Ruault
Torre Agbar, photo: Philippe Ruault
Torre Agbar, photo: Philippe Ruault


High Society

Christina Graewe, Peter Cachola Schmal (eds.)
Published by JOVIS Publishers, language: G/E / out of print
High Society  more information


Aktuelle Hochhaus Architektur und der Internationale Hochhaus Preis 2006

November 19, 2006 – February 11, 2007
Deutsches Architekturmuseum DAM
Schaumainkai 43, 60596 Frankfurt am Main