Torre Agbar – a symbol of contemporary Barcelona

The Torre Agbar, or also called Torre Glòries was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel and has become a symbol of a contemporary Barcelona. This tower is located in the Poblenou neighbourhood – the new technological district of Barcelona, also known as 22@. The name of the tower – Torre Agbar comes from the name of a Spanish company dedicated to services and distribution of water – the Agbar Group. Originally the building was owned by the Agbar Group and recently it was purchased by Merlin Properties real estate group which renamed the tower to be called Torre Glòries after the name of the adjacent square.

The construction of the tower was started in 1999 and was finished in 2004. The Torre Agbar is one in a collection of high-tech architecture examples in Barcelona and therefore it is interesting to take a closer look at the building, its architecture and design, both external and internal.

The Torre Agbar is somewhat similar in shape to Sir Norman Foster’s 30 St. Mary Axe in London – “The Gherkin”, because it is also a massive bullet-shaped cylinder pointing skywards, with a glass surface in which the colours of the Mediterranean are reflected.  The building has 31 office floors, 3 floors for technical facilities on the top and 4 underground floors. This tower is the third highest building in Barcelona, it stands 144 metres tall. It cost 130 million Euros to build.

Jean Nouvel – the architect of Torre Agbar had done a very meticulous and hard work with his team, thinking a lot about the best location where to build the tower, the design and ways how to reduce energy consumption. For that reason during its construction the solar power and groundwater were used. The Torre Agbar can truly be called as example of bioclimatic architecture.  In this building, functionality and design merge with environmentally-friendly building materials and elements that take advantage of climatic and environmental conditions to achieve a significant reduction in energy consumption and improve the quality of life of residents. In 2011, the Agbar Tower won the European Commission’s Green Building award for its energy efficiency and low CO² emissions.

The construction was inspired by the work of the architect Antoni Gaudi with his smooth and uneven lines and forms in all this buildings. In addition, the north side of the tower was designed with the intention of obtaining an optimal panoramic view over the Sagrada Familia.

One of the most characteristic elements of the building is its nocturnal illumination. The tower has more than 4,500 luminous devices that can operate independently using LED technology and enables the generation of images on the outside of the tower. The system is capable of creating 16 million colours, thanks to a sophisticated system of hardware and software. It has the ability to quickly transition between colours which can create a shocking effect. We advise you to see Torre Agbar both by day and by night! Particularly by night it can become an amazing experience!

The tower is not open for visiting since there are offices. In the future Torre Agbar might be converted to the hotel but it is doubted and hasn’t been decided yet. Whatever is inside the Torre Agbar it is an important sight, that is interesting for observing as for locals as for tourists!

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