Barcelona, ​​a transformation of 120 million to open new windows to the sea

One of the unanimously recognized qualities of Barcelona is its ability to take advantage of the pull of the events it hosts and organizes.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
25 May 2023 Thursday 22:49
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Barcelona, ​​a transformation of 120 million to open new windows to the sea

One of the unanimously recognized qualities of Barcelona is its ability to take advantage of the pull of the events it hosts and organizes. This desire to show the best version of itself made the 92 Olympic Games a milestone in urban transformation in every way. That Olympic spirit, that transforming and vital atmosphere was sensed again a little over a year ago when the celebration of the America's Cup was announced in the city and it has materialized for months along the seafront.

Saving distances and adjusting proportions, the announcement of the celebration of the considered Formula 1 of the sea, has been interpreted as an opportunity to accelerate the transformation and take advantage of once and for all the potential of a maritime façade that many capitals of the world already wanted for themselves. The international event has definitely served to speed up the calendar and align public interests with those of private investors. Only in the Port Vell, the investment of one and the other already amounts to 120 million euros distributed in 19 spaces.

The last project to join the wave got the green light a few days ago. It will be the remodeling of the Aquarium, which will renew the exterior image of the building and incorporate new technology to be a more sustainable and attractive facility for the public with new proposals for visits. The works, which will be carried out in record time to be ready during the summer of 2024, represent an investment of thirteen million euros. This action is added to the 18 that already have the approval of the Port Authority and that are distributed throughout the spaces managed or concessioned by the port.

The works have concentrated at first -the schedule is pressing-, on the docks where the teams that will play the America's Cup are expected to settle. To streamline procedures, the port provided more powers and resources to the urban management of Port Vell. On the Espanya dock, for example, the old Cinesa cinemas have already been demolished to make room for the Swiss team. And once the competition is over, this area will become a public square, marking the start of a broader and more ambitious redevelopment. Thus, from 2025 it is planned to connect this entire area with the Moll de la Fusta and Via Laietana.

Nearby, work has begun on the Imax (investment amounts to 4.6 million) to become the America's Cup House, where this great nautical event will be explained to Barcelona residents and visitors through virtual experiences taking advantage of the spaces in this building and its theater, closed since 2014. It is planned to open the facility next June and keep it active until January 2025. The Liceu Mar project, which will be built there, is pending for later. Also in this area, the remodeling of the Maremagnum shopping center (17 million) has begun, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Another space undergoing transformation is the new mouth, where construction has begun on the promenade elevated above the docks (1.9 million) which will culminate in the Mirador building (2,500 square meters), where there will be a public terrace with Spectacular views over Port Vell, a restaurant and an exhibition area dedicated to the breakwater in which three million are invested. Marina Vela is located in this space, a pioneering dry marina in Europe with 130 moorings that will revitalize the environment of the north mouth and will be open to the public with a differentiated gastronomic, leisure and commercial offer, which represents an investment of six million euros. euro more.

To link the Drassanes quay (the Portal de la Pau) with the new mouth and Marina Vela, it is planned to launch a regular nautical bus line, an old project that will finally see the light of day with a budget of 1.1 million . In this short-term investment package, the new fishermen's market also stands out, with a raised access walkway that allows you to see its activity, and the redevelopment of the surroundings (7.6 million), the development of the Drassanes wharf, the base of the host team from New Zealand, or the rehabilitation of the historic headquarters of the Port Authority in the Portal de la Pau (17.3 million) of which the façade is expected to be ready by the summer of 2024 and open the following year as port information center.

The renovation of the Club Natació Barcelona (20 million), the remodeling of the World Trade Center to adapt its public spaces (10.2 million) or the renovation of the Torre de Jaume I, of the cable car are other actions that will multiply the renovating effect of the maritime facade.

The other major focus of action is Port Olímpic, where its profound remodeling has already begun to take shape. The performances have also accelerated for the America's Cup but they will culminate once the sporting event is over. The City Council, which took over the management of the space in 2020 through the municipal company BSM, has opted for a reorientation of a large part of its uses, which implies an investment of more than 40 million euros. The new Port Olímpic will allocate a large part of its space to hosting companies related to the blue economy, as well as a new range of restaurants on the Gregal dock.