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Filmoteca de Catalunya

Josep Lluís Mateo Arquitectos, 2012

By Brian Gallagher 04.07.12

The most important art form of the last century both creatively and commercially; although the way we experience cinema may have changed from the golden age of Hollywood when movie palaces created ostentatious arenas for the projection of silent black and white films onto the silver screen with accompanying live orchestral arrangements nonetheless this century our appetite for films is as keen as ever. Colour, cinemascope, multi screen complexes, 3-D cinema, surround sound haven been incorporated but the essential experience of cinema remains unchanged.

  • ©Adrià Goula

  • The latest addition to Barcelona’s collection of cultural institutions is one dedicated to the archive and celebration of film. Designed by Mateo Arquitectos the Filmoteca is an ambitious building not only in terms of its programme but also from an urban planning point of view. The project is one of Mateo’s most important commissions in Barcelona and is an integral part of the improvements to the Raval neighbourhood and the axis of cultural buildings and institutions that link the CCCB to the Museo Maritimo via Rambla de Raval. More than 10 years in planning and construction the new building replaces the previous Filmoteca which was located of the in the Sarrià neighbourhood with greatly improved facilities. Approximately 6,000 square meters with 555 seating capacity the new Filmoteca gives Barcelona residents the chance to enjoy repertory and contemporary national and international film seen as it was designed to be appreciated; within a cinema context. The exposed concrete shell recalls the Brutalist style of the late 50s which architects like Corbusier and the Japanese Metabolists favoured.

  • Adrià Goula

  • Bridge like the building resembles a dislocated fragment of urban infrastructure one which is anchored either side of the new Pl. Salvador Seguí (anarchist and trade unionist assassinated close to the location of the modern square) that introduces much needed light to the dense surroundings as well as acting as the roof to the subterranean screens below ground level. The ticket hall and queuing areas are treated as an extension to the square and traverse the building laterally, a series of escalators give access to both the underground cinema spaces while the offices and archives are located on the upper floors. The board marked concrete façade to the square is combined with metal mesh and corten steel cladding recalling the gritty surroundings that undoubtedly have witnessed many stories of their own.

    Adrià Goula

  • Adrià Goula

  • Adrià Goula