Filmoteca de Cataluña, Film Theatre Building Spain, Spanish Architect Design

Film Library Barcelona, Catalonia

Filmoteca de Cataluña Barcelona design by Josep Lluís Mateo Architect, Spain

post updated 10 May 2024

Dates built: 2010-11

Design: Josep Lluís Mateo


Completion of the Headquarters of the New Film Theatre of Catalonia in the Raval district of Barcelona.

Filmoteca de Cataluña, Barcelona Film Theatre
photo © Adrià Goula

21 Sep 2011

Filmoteca de Cataluña

Filmoteca de Cataluña Film on Vimeo

Filmoteca de Cataluña

Headquarters of the new Film Theatre of Catalonia
First prize, public competition 2004

Plaça Salvador Seguí S/N
08001 Barcelona

About the form… The ruins mark the structure of the buildings. The Roman forum formalizes the plane of foundations and drains. In the old town, my building sets out to express itself as pure structure—no cladding, no finishes.

The bare concrete beams-cum-walls that form the façades are very varied, proving themselves members of the family of the dilapidated neighbouring walls, where plaster crumbles to reveal their original central mass.

Filmoteca de Cataluña Filmoteca de Cataluña Barcelona Filmoteca de Cataluña Barcelona
photos © Adrià Goula

Josep Lluís Mateo

Filmoteca de Cataluña Barcelona – Building Information

Site: Plaza Salvador Seguí, distrito del raval, Barcelona
Surface: 7.515 m2
Author: Josep Lluís Mateo
Client: ICIC (Institut Català de les Indústries Culturals)
Budget: 12.000.000 euros
Structural Engineering: BOMA, Agustí Obiol
Installations Engineering: Grupo JG
Budget Control: Tram
Fire Protection Francesc Labastida
Constructor: Emcofa

Filmoteca de Cataluña Barcelona Filmoteca de Cataluña Barcelona Filmoteca de Cataluña Barcelona
photos © Adrià Goula

Place and Project

The new film theatre building presents a façade on Plaça de Salvador Seguí, at an angle to Carrer de Sant Pau. Together with the existing constructions, it forms Carrer d’Espalter.

It is very close to the mythical Carrer de Robador, in an area which, despite the major clean-ups still going on and the change in population, is still a popular, built-up, oppressively Mediterranean/port neighbourhood.

Its relation with its setting operates on the following levels:

The project and Plaça de Salvador Seguí:

The plaza represents a clearing in the built-up district of El Raval which, thanks to this construction, attracts new users and hosts large-scale events. A porch on the ground floor can be opened or closed according to functional needs. The film theatre is a continuation of the building line of the street, blending in with its setting.

The project and its immediate surroundings: Carrer d’Espalter:

The volume of the cinemas is undergrounded, thereby reducing the scale and visual impact of the building. The street is widened a little, drawing the construction back from the building line. The new building reduces the ground floor section at the end walls, which also makes the street wider.


The Film Theatre was conceived as a form “under construction”, as mass and volume without detail. The principal material used is therefore concrete—hard and strong. To accentuate this “unfinished” appearance, the beams extend to the exterior with their tensioning cables. The building is basically a beam-cum-wall that also frees up space without imposing a domestic presence.

The brief

The brief brings together in a single building functions that were previously housed separately: the library, the archive and the two cinemas, along with administrative and other functions, such as preparing publicity and information. There are also galleries and a cafeteria-bar.

The ground floor houses the reception and foyer to the cinemas, the vertical communication shafts, the cafeteria-bar and the necessary complementary services (ticket desk, etc.)

On the first floor are the library and a permanent exhibition gallery, and the second and third floors house the offices of the ICIC (Catalan Institute of Cultural Industries). The second floor is an open-plan space that looks out over the plaza and the street, Carrer d’Espalter, with a terrace overlooking Carrer de Sant Josep Oriol. The third floor is partially lit by a courtyard that becomes a skylight in the roof of the second floor.

In the basement, beneath the building’s projection, are the two floors of archives and storage, and the part of the basement below the plaza houses the two cinemas.


Primer Premio. Concurso restringido

Filmoteca de Cataluña Filmoteca de Cataluña film library barcelona barcelona film library
images : Josep Lluis Mateo

Film Theatre of Catalonia, Barcelona – Building Information

Emplazamiento: El Raval, Barcelona
Superficie: 7.000 sqm
Autor: Josep Lluís Mateo

Colaboradores externos:
Estructuras: OMA, Agustí Obiol
Instalaciones: Grupo JG
Presupuesto: Aumedes-Embuena – Xavier Aumedes
Protección contra incendios: Francesc Labastida

Colaboradores MAP:
Responsables de proyecto: Jordi Pagès, Anna Llimona
Dirección de obra: Vicky Daroca
Equipo proyecto: Xavier Monclús, Enriqueta Llabrés, Benjamín Scharf
Equipo Concurso: Marc Camallonga, Enriqueta Llabrés, Adriana Porta, Lucas Echeveste, Ismael Heras, Daniel Blüm

Filmoteca de Cataluña Barcelona
image : Josep Lluis Mateo

Filmoteca de Cataluña Barcelona images / information from Josep Lluís Mateo

Josep Lluis Mateo

Filmoteca de Catalunya : photos added 10 Sep 2012:
Film Theatre of Catalonia Barcelona
photo © Milos Stipcic

Location: Carrer d’Espalter, 08001 Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain

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Website: Filmoteca de Catalunya