Rehabilitation of the Torre de las Aguas del Besòs in Barcelona
Dating of the building: 19th century.
Applicant: Antoni Vilanova.
Reason for the award :
The Jury valued the high quality of the interior design and intervention, as well as the preservation of the original function of the site, an example of the reuse of this type of heritage.
The start-up of the project has been possible thanks to the agreement signed in 2010 between the Barcelona City Council and AGBAR, the current company responsible for supplying water in the city, historically linked to the operation of the tower.
Thanks to its typology, formal beauty, and structural plan, the Torre de les Aguas de Barcelona is an outstanding example of the industrial landscape of Barcelona, and its voice must be preserved. The intervention has pursued two perfectly compatible objectives; on the one hand, to conserve its authenticity; on the other, to ensure its integrity as an industrial monument. The origin of the tower was to supply water to the north of the city to alleviate the consequences of the droughts of 1875 and 1876. Led by its principal investor, Francisco Javier Camps Puigmartí, the construction project started in 1880 on the right bank of the Besòs river, four kilometres from Barcelona. Since 1888, when the tower was integrated into the Can Girona industrial complex, it has been supplying water exclusively for industrial use. Included in the Urban Heritage Catalogue in 1979, the tower was abandoned in 1993.
Today, restored, it is an emerging cultural facility in the old industrial district of Poblenou, with innovative facilities that enrich the visitor’s experience and establish a dialogue between art and industrial heritage. Proof of this is the installation of Himmelsrichtungen, a sculpture by the German Blinky Palermo, initially created for industrial space at the 1976 Venice Biennale.