Agbar Tower (Torre Agbar), Barcelona, Spain by Jean Nouvel

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Introduction

The Torre Agbar (an acronym for Auga de Barcelona) is a 38-story skyscraper in Barcelona (Spain). It is located at the junction of Diagonal Avenue and Badajoz, just next to Plaza de las Glorias, which also marks the gateway/entrance door to the technological district known as 22 @Barcelona. The building design comprises of 34 floors above the surface and four underground floors which makes a total of 38 floors. The building structure has a total height of 145 meters (475 feet), making it the third tallest tower in Catalan capital at the time of its opening in June 2005.

torre agbar light show

The Torre Agbar has a total surface area of 50,693 square meters, out of which 30,000 square meters is occupied by offices, 9132 by parking, 3210 of technical facilities and 8132 sq.mtr by services including Torre Agbar auditorium. The building has been designed by the architects Jean Nouvel and Fermin Vazquez. The total cost of construction was 130 million euros. It was officially opened and inaugurated by the king of Spain on September 16, 2005.

Tower’s Design and Architectural Details

torre agbar section sketch

The Agbar tower was designed by the architect Jean Nouvel along with the joint effort of architecture firm b720 Fermin Vazquez Architects. As explained by the Nouvel, the construction of the structure was strongly influenced from some of the most symbolic design of Catalan culture.

In addition, as an offering to the Sagrada Familia, the north-facing part of the Agbar Tower was designed with the motive to have a panoramic view of the cathedral. According to architect, Torre Agbar design and shape was inspired from Montserrat, a mountain near Barcelona.

Also See: Sagrada Familia Controversial Design

Its design was a result of the combination of various architectural concepts, which ultimately led to a structure built with reinforced concrete, that is surrounded by a facade of glass.

Nouvel explained that while designing the Torre Agbar(Agbar Tower), he refused the ideas prevailing in North America of what a tower/skyscraper should be like.

The intention of the architect was to make it look like as it came from the ground. The motive behind this is to dedicate the tower to the company “Aigues de Barcelona”, which is a water supply company of Barcelona. Nouvel explained the design of the tower with a metaphor of sprouting of a geyser from the ground.

The buildings glasses changes their colours, which became very famous as the Torre Agbar light show.

Construction Details and Material used

torre agbar construction

The process of construction of Agbar Tower started in 1999 and was handled by the contractor company Dragados. It took a total of six years since the construction began and the tower was finally ready in late 2004. Around 1170 professionals and workers came together and collaborated in order to bring the work to good port. After its complete construction, it was inaugurated by the King of Spain Juan Carlos and Sofia on September 16, 2005.

Around 1170 professionals and workers came together and collaborated in order to bring the work to good port. After its complete construction, it was inaugurated by the King of Spain Juan Carlos and Sofia on September 16, 2005.

Also See: See how Torre Agbar is different from The Gherkin Building, London

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The most important material used in the construction was concrete, to which it was the structure of the tower. Painted sheet metal strips of various colours were used, that are made of aluminium and glass. These metal strips were used in order to cover the exterior surface of the building. For completion of the project, a total of 25,000 cubic meters of concrete and 125 tons of steel were used.

Torre Agbar Facts

  • Since its completion, the Tower has been an architectural idol for the city of Barcelona.
  •  The Jean Nouvel Torre Agbar was taken over and rebuilt into the Torre Agbar Hotel by the hotel chain Grand Hyatt in 2013 at an estimated cost of €150 million.
  • Before it’s been taken over, the Torre Agbar hotel was only accessible to the tenants of the building.
  • now, the Torre Agbar restaurant will be open to public access, where they can enjoy a panoramic view of the city from the top floor.
  • The public can still enjoy the Torre Agbar light show, as that will remain in its original state.
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