View of La Torre Glories (Barcelona, Spain)


Besides Sagrada Familia, if there’s a building that really stands out in the Barcelona skyline that is the Torre Glories (also known as Torre AGBAR). A high sky scrapper with a rounded top that reminds people of a bullet, a cucumber or… things I can’t mention in a post for all public ages. It is located in the Plaça de les Glories Catalanes (hence its current name), which Ildefons Cerda planned to be the center of Barcelona when the Eixample development plan was presented, and now is a complex crossroad that the Barcelona council has been trying to pacify for ages.

La Torre AGBAR by Jean Nouvel

It was originally commissioned to the French architect Jean Nouvel by the Aigues de Barcelona holding to be their iconic headquarters. The acronym of the holding is AGBAR, so the tower was originally called “AGBAR Tower”. The construction took between 1999-2004. The water company of Barcelona occupied the building for just over a decade, until it was sold in 2017 to the real state company Merlin States, that continued to rent the space for office use. In 2022 the top of the tower was opened for visits as a vantage point.

The Torre Agbar building



Despite the many nicknames that people has given to Torre Glories due to its “inspiring” shape, its creator Jean Nouvel states it’s supposed to look like a geyser, as a tribute to its original owners, the water company. He’s also acknowledge the influence of the shapes of the Sagrada Familia towers as well as the mountain of Montserrat. Its circular floor plan was choosen to avoid having a main façade, facing instead all the neighborhoods around it.

The exterior of the building is a double façade: an outside a shell of glass blinds, and only separate from it by a maintenance passarelle, the colored aluminium wall with more than 4.500 openings. The glass blinds incorporate sensors that detect temperature, light levels, wind and other weather variables. A special software regulates their degree of inclination to maximize the comfort inside the building, as well as to make a more efficient use of energy.

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