Barcelona architecture, Catalan building photos, Catalunya property news, Spanish designs developments pictures

Barcelona Architecture : Buildings

Key Property + Architectural Developments in Catalonia, Spain, Europe

post updated 11 February 2024

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Barcelona Architecture

Park Guell Barcelona
photo © Adrian Welch

Arquitectura España

Barcelona is capital of Catalonia (Catalunya), an autonomous region of Spain. It is Spain’s major Mediterranean port and famous for Gaudi, Dali, Miro and Picasso. The city is strong commercially compared to the rest of Spain in an similar way to say Milan and the rest of Italy. The Olympics were staged in Barcelona in 1992 and provided a legacy of good contemporary architecture with many buildings by famous architects.

Catalonia Architecture Guide

The most famous Barcelona building is surely Sagrada Familia by Spanish architect Gaudi. Still under construction, we feature photos of this iconic piece of architecture. The centre of the city – Barri Gothic – is formed from a Roman village, tight-knit alleys, squares and charming cheek-by-jowl buildings. Located outwith is a civilised grid of avenues, Eixample, cut through by the Diagonal. This order is terminated by the hills that ring Barcelona, and of course the Mediterranean Sea.

Barcelona Architecture : key buildings (this page)

Barcelona Buildings : A-B

Barcelona Architecture Designs : C-E

Barcelona Building Developments : F-L

Barcelona Building Designs : M-Z

Key Barcelona Buildings

The buildings below are unmissable on any visit.

Barcelona Architecture Walking Tours
We do walking and cycling tours of the city – contact to ask for details.

Catalan Architecture, chronological:

Barcelona Cathedral Building, Barri Gotic

Barcelona Cathedral Building
image © AW
Historic architecture located in the city centre.

Sagrada Familia
Design: Antoni Gaudi Architect
Sagrada Familia Barcelona by Antoni Gaudi
photos © Adrian Welch
A stunning piece of Spanish architecture. Gaudi’s designs resonate with the work of Surrealist artist Salvador Dali. This inventive and iconic Barcelona building uses stone caricatures to weave the story of Christianity.

Casa Batlo, Eixample
Antoni Gaudi, Architect
Casa Batlo Gaudi building Barcelona
photo © Isabelle Lomholt
Casa Batllo is the smaller and earlier of the Gaudi buildings on Passeig de Gracia. The building is delightfully organic with a writhing sculptural facade that brings the street to life.

Casa Mila Barcelona – La Pedrera
Antoni Gaudi, Architect
Casa Mila - La Pedrera Barcelona by Antoni Gaudí
picture © Adrian Welch
Casa Mila – ‘The Quarry’: – is a beautiful sculptural building that expresses pure tectonic delight and unlike Sagrada Familia (also by Antoni Gaudi) its architecture is simpler and less specific, therefore in many ways more sophisticated. Gaudi has taken stone and moulded it like lava, achieving pure drama.

Park Guell Barcelona, north of the city
Antoni Gaudi, Architect
Park Guell Antoni Gaudi Barcelona sculpture
image © AWClassic Gaudi Architecture
A great place to relax, enjoy the coutryside and gain great views out over Barcelona. The best Gaudi architecture is at the lower, south end of Park Guell, primarily close to the southern entry. A fantastic pink house, the home of Antoni Gaudi for around 20 years is in the middle of the lower section.

Barcelona Pavilion building, Hill of Montjuic
Design: Mies van der Rohe Architect
Barcelona Pavilion Mies van der Rohe building
picture © Adrian WelchWorld-famous Modern Architecture
For many architects this is their favourite building – it is elegant, beautifully proportioned and made with quality materials. The detailing is exquisite and the whole project breathes calmness.

Montjuic Communications Tower, Hill of Montjuic
Design: Santiago Calatrava, Architect
Montjuic Communications Tower building mosaic
photo © AW
This iconic Barcelona building 136m high. This hihgly stylised Calatrava building feels like an enlarged piece of sculpture carved from pure white marble, or as semi dough-ring speared by a bloated toothpick.

Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art
Design: Richard Meier & Partners, Architects
Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona: MACBA
photograph © Adrian Welch
A typical Richard Meier building with rectilinear elements expressed in white metal panels and key parts in white render as organic forms in plan. The US architect could have engaged more with the context of Barcelona architecture – the modern building is too similar to others by this architectural office.

Barcelona Forum Building, Diagonal Mar
Design: Herzog & de Meuron Architects
Forum Barcelona building design by Herzog & de Meuron Architects
image © Adrian Welch
A rather severe building with rough dark blue lavaesque treatment to facades spiced up with cut-outs and jerky glazed strips. These strips are striated with mirrors trying to reduce the weight of the ‘floating blue cheesecake’. Below the macho cantilevers lies what on my visit appeared to be a no-man’s land of patterns and blank facades.

Santa Caterina Market, Barri Gotic
Design: Enric Miralles / Benedetta Tagliabue EMBT
Mercat de Santa Caterina Barcelona building
picture © Isabelle Lomholt
This redevelopment is, like many Barcelona buildings featured, an organic piece of architecture. The project is dominated by its playful, colourful roof which undulates over the fixed market stalls below.

Agbar Tower, Barcelona skyscraper
Design: Jean Nouvel Architects
Torre Agbar Barcelona, Catalan Tower
photo © AW
This skyscraper building is 142m high, the third highest in Barcelona in 2005. Designed by French architects – a controversy emerged surrounding how similar the design was to Foster + Partner’s Swiss Re tower in London.

Nou Camp Stadium Building
Foster + Partners, Architects
Camp Nou Stadium
image : Foster + Partners
Barcelona FC cancelled this €250m Camp Nou arena building design by British architect Norman Foster, which the UK architects office had won from competition in 2007.

Porta Fira Hotel
Toyo Ito & Associates / b720
Porta Fira Hotel Barcelona skyscraper
photo from FCC
Hotel Porta Fira was designed by the Japanese architecture firm Toyo Ito & Associates and the Spanish firm b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos. The 26-floor hotel tower is 113 m high and located in one of Barcelona’s busiest areas. The lead architect won the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in 2013.

Torre Diagonal Zero Zero
Torre Diagonal Zero Zero
photo : EMBA
A contextual tower that has a double reading, from near and afar, in response to the two scales that such tall buildings must address. Taking the urban directions that form the perimeter of the plot as generators of its form, the building is a trapezoidal prism, sharp and stylized, a clean and serene form, whitish and light.

Barcelona Architects

Barcelona Pavilion Photos
Barcelona Pavilion Mies van der Rohe building pool
photo © AW

Antoni Gaudi buildings

Architecture in Barcelona

Key Catalan buildings, alphabetical:

CCIB Building, Diagonal Mar
Design: Mateo Arquitectura
CCIB Barcelona Diagonal Mar building
photo © Adrian Welch
CCIB Barcelona

La Fundació Joan Miró, Parc de Montjuïc
Design: Josep Lluís Sert, Architect
Joan Miro Foundation Barcelona, Montjuïc
photo © AW
Joan Miro Foundation Buildings

Media-ICT – World Building of the Year 2011
Design: Cloud 9
Media-TIC Barcelona World Building of the Year 2011
photograph from architect
Media-ICT Barcelona

Barcelona Public Spaces – Plazas + Parques in the city

Plaza Lesseps Barcelona parks and squares
photo © Milos Stipcic
Barcelona Parks & Squares

More Barcelona Architecture welcome

Location: Barcelona, Catalunya, Northeast Spain, southwestern Europe

Catalan Architecture

Barcelona Architecture Photos
Barcelona Pavilion Mies van der Rohe building
image © Adrian Welch
Barcelona Architecture Photos

Barcelona Architecture News

Col.legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya:
Catalonian Architects’ Website with links to Barcelona Architecture + Architects

Architecture in Barcelona
Barcelona is a favourite destination among architecture buffs and interested travellers looking to marvel at the sheer genius of Gaudí’s structures, the intricate designs of the Catalan Modernist movement and, of course, the historic masterpieces of Ancient Rome.

Comments / photos for the Barcelona Architecture page welcome