Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art

A museum elegantly incised into medieval city fabric reactivates a cultural district by creating a new public plaza and fostering a dialogue between old and new

The museum plays a key role in restructuring the Gothic district of Barcelona. Together with the Casa de la Caritat cultural center and a new university building to the north of the museum’s outdoor sculpture court, the building has catalyzed the growth of a new arts quarter within the broader urban fabric.

Visitors enter the gallery spaces through a cylindrical, top-lit foyer leading to a ramp that traverses a glazed, triple-height hall facing the new Plaça dels Àngels to the south. This hall, together with an intermediate corridor paved in glass block, enables the visitor to access six continuous loft-like spaces on successive levels and provides a luminous zone of transition from the bustling urban surroundings to the serene interior of the museum.  

A crucial component of the museum’s urban impact is the creation of an inviting new public space in form of a generous plaza in front of the building. The plaza offers a unique gathering space in the midst of the dense medieval urban fabric, while the building has also been carefully sited so that the surrounding narrow streets fame views of the new building for approaching visitors, establishing a dynamic exchange between old and new.