Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Torre Agbar Building, Jean Nouvel

Jean Nouvel’s Torre Agbar, just completed in 2006, is one of the most recent profound works of contemporary architecture in the world. Located in Barcelona, Spain, it is bordered on the streets of Avinguda Diagonal and Carrer de Badajoz. Torre Agbar is the headquarters for Aguas de Barcelona, the municipal water company. The structure for the building is completely reinforced-concrete, topped with a glass and steel dome. The most profound part of the building is its multi-colored aluminum panels that cover the façade, with 25 various colors behind glass panels. There are no internal columns within the floors; stairs and emergency exit are located in its central concrete core. Thirty one floors with six elevator shafts along the outer walls make up the building. Also, interesting, are the 4,400 windows and 56,619 transparent/translucent glass plates that are tilted at different angles designed to deflect the direct sunlight, varying at different palaces along the building’s continual façade. Having visited the Torre Agbar, I found it to be sited out of place. It is located in a very vacant poor area of the city, with its rich materials and façade; it simply seems out of place. The building, being the tallest in Barcelona at this time, has definitely become an icon for Barcelona. While visiting the Torre Agbar, one might want to consisder viewing in both daylight and at night, as it has two completely different aesthetics in sunlight and in nightlight. Also, be cautious if visiting at night, this is not the best part of town.
Mark Gettys

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