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The architects Carles Ferrater and Josep Maria Cartañà were responsible for designing the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya. Instead of using pillars, they combined walls and openings to provide the Palau with a sensation of lightness, achieving a 35,000 m2 building that is characterised by light and by the flow between its various meeting and rest areas.

Carles Ferrater (Barcelona, 1944) graduated in architecture at the Barcelona School of Architecture in 1971 and supplements his work with teaching at the University of Barcelona. He is also a professor of Architectural Projects at the UPC and has taught at the Barcelona School of Architecture and served as the director of architectural courses at the UIMP. His architectural work on Barcelona’s Olympic Village in 1992 earned him much prestige, and he was also responsible for the Barcelona Botanical Garden and the Paseo Marítimo in Benidorm.

As for Josep María Cartañà, he received the Spanish National Architecture Award, along with Ferrater, for designing the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya, which was part of an ambitious project launched by the old Hotel Rey Juan Carlos I in the middle of 1992. Cartañà designed the new Vall de Hebrón residential complex in 1991, also with Carles Ferrater, in addition to Casa La Miranda (2007) in Esplugues de Llobregat and the head office of JOMA’S (2009) in Sant Cugat del Vallés.

Entrance the Palau
Palau de Congressos


A symbol of contemporary Barcelona located right in the heart of the financial and business district with over 10,000 m2 of modular design space for holding events and congresses. The centre is divided into an auditorium that can host over 2,000 people, an exhibition area of over 4,000 m2 in size, 43 multifunctional rooms, halls, gardens with a lake and a pool, and various other resources.

The building’s design is easily recognisable from the highway that gradually flows into Avenida Diagonal. To reduce the visual impact, the design of the complex combines three structures transversal to the street, leaving passages between them to preserve the visual contact between Avenida Diagonal and the Torre Melina gardens, favouring the building’s settlement on a sloped site.

With 4 floors for public use and capacity for up to 4,000 people, it was built as a major venue for holding events in Barcelona, offering the perfect space for hosting conferences, conventions and all kinds of events in the city.

This project, which arose as a private initiative to respond to the emerging demand for event and conference spaces in Catalonia, led to the construction of a striking building made with various materials, such as white concrete, quartzite, maple wood and sulphated brass. White concrete was the material chosen to create harmony between the organised collection of different fragments, used for the enclosure walls and the roof structures. The material colour scheme is complemented by flooring in blue quartzite, maple panelling and sulphated brass carpentry, designed to serve as an elegant and discreet backdrop for all kinds of trade fairs and congresses.

The southern section houses an Auditorium with capacity for over 2,000 people and a large window at the back that opens out onto the rear garden. Preceding the assembly hall, there is a double-storey empty space with lifts and stairs that connect the entrance level to the ground floor, where a large banquet hall is located. Four rectangular skylights arranged in a spiral flood this hall with light of different colour temperatures from the four cardinal points.

The multi-purpose area, which can host both receptions and large trade fair exhibitions, is an intermediate space in terms of its position, length and width. Designed as a modular and neutral space, this ‘magic box’ is illuminated by two longitudinal skylights filtered by vertical panels made of maple wood.

Finally, the collection is completed by a third structure with a flat envelope around the office area, which transforms into a façade with a sinuous contour at the bottom.

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