This is not a tower, a skyscraper, in the American sense. It is a more an emergence, rising singularly in the center of a generally calm city. Unlike slender spires and bell towers that typically pierce the horizons of horizontal cities, this tower is a fluid mass that bursts through the ground like a geyser under permanent, calculated pressure.
The surface of the building evokes water: smooth and continuous, shimmering and transparent, its materials reveal themselves in nuanced shades of color and light. It is architecture of the earth without the heaviness of stone, like a distant echo of old Catalan formal obsessions carried by a mysterious wind off the Monserrat.
The ambiguities of material and light make the Agbar tower resonate against Barcelona's skyline day and night, like a distant mirage, marking the entry into the diagonal avenue from the Plaça de les Glorias. This singular object will become the new symbol of Barcelona the international city, and become one of its best ambassaadors.
STATUS Built. 1999-2005
LOCATION Avinguda Diagonal, 211, 08018 Barcelona, Espagne
CLIENT Layetana Inmobiliaria (Barcelone – SP)
ARCHITECT Jean NOUVEL – Ateliers Jean Nouvel (Paris, FR)
LOCAL ARCHITECT Fermin VAZQUEZ – b720 (Barcelone – SP)
LIGHT DESIGNER Yann KERSALÉ – AIK (Paris, FR)
AJN: Jean-Pierre BOUANHA
b720: Vander LEMES
Project: Florence RABIET, Alexa PLASENCIA, Emmanuelle LAPOINTE, Cristina ALGAS, Julie FERNANDEZ, Francisco MARTINEZ, Pascaline PARIS, Elisabeth FARRES
Execution: Francisco MARTINEZ, Pablo GARRIDO, Alexa PLASENCIA, Cristina ALGAS
AJN: Natalie SACCU DE FRANCHI
Hiroshi MAEDA (Façades)
3D IMAGES Artefactory
MODEL Etienne FOLLENFANT
Building services: Gepro
Structure: R. BRUFAU & A. OBIOL
Cost consultant: Argos Management
Façades: Alain Bony (Color study), Arnauld de Bussière (Studies), Xavier Ferres (Biosca Botey, construction)
CONTRACT TYPE Commission; Full design services; Interior design
PROGRAM 142-meter tower for the headquarters of the company Aguas de Barcelona (AGBAR) + 350-seat auditorium
GROSS FLOOR AREA 47 500 m² (17 500 m² infrastructure, 30 000 m² superstructure)