Visit the Torre Glòries Building ~ Barcelona’s Psychedelic Disco Gherkin

The Torre Glòries skyscraper is one of Barcelona’s tallest and most iconic buildings – every bit as recognisable as the peaks of Gaudis Sagrada Familia.

Torre Glòries Barcelona / Torre Agbar / by Ben Holbrook

Words & photos by your Barcelona architecture fanatic guide, Ben Holbrook.

When I first moved to Barcelona, I lived quite close to this iconic landmark and I remember using it as a homing beacon.

I’d get carried away with mid-week vermouths and gintonics, miss the last metro and end up walking home.

But I always knew I was going in roughly the right direction so long as I could see its luminous indigo glow. 

EXPERIENCE

Torre Glòries Barcelona / Torre Agbar / by Ben HolbrookFrom afar it looks like a sort of psychedelic disco gherkin, especially at night when it’s lit.

Its facade is covered in 4,500 multicoloured LED lights, which can be controlled to move and create different patterns – during the festive season it glows green and crimson like a Christmas tree wrapped in silk ribbons.

Torre Glòries Barcelona / Torre Agbar / by Ben HolbrookIt’s always worth a visit and is spectacular from all distances. I’m pretty sure you can enter the lobby area inside, though I’ve never done so myself.

UNDERSTAND

Torre Glòries Barcelona / Torre Agbar / by Ben HolbrookThis phallic icon stands as an exclamation, marking Barcelonas progressive nature and crystallising its position as one of the most exciting design cities in Europe.

Torre Glòries Barcelona / Torre Agbar / by Ben HolbrookIt was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel as the gateway to the new technological district of Barcelona and built in 2003. 

Apparently, its phallic form was inspired by the peaks of nearby Montserrat mountain. Others say it mimics a waterspout erupting from the ground, which makes sense seeing as it was originally built for the Agbar water company.

Torre Glòries Barcelona / Torre Agbar / by Ben HolbrookAfter Agbar vacated the building there were talks of it being converted into a hotel, but as far as I am aware it is still vacant.

Torre Glòries Barcelona / Torre Agbar / by Ben HolbrookUp close, it’s a stunning feat of glass and colour, a sort of contemporary ‘yin’ to the more classical ‘yang’ of Barcelona’s more famous modernista architecture.

CMT Building Barcelona with Torre Glòries Barcelona / Torre Agbar behind / by Ben Holbrook

The honeycomb-framed CMT Building, which appears to float like the shell of a half-built cruise ship waiting to slide down to the sea. Just a short stroll from the Torre Glories.

Torre Glòries Barcelona / Torre Agbar light show at night / by Ben Holbrook

By night.

Torre Agbar/Glories Building in Barcelona Illuminated during the Llum light show

During the Llum light show…

Torre Agbar/Glores Building in Barcelona Illuminated during the Llum light show

Make it Happen

Address: Avinguda Diagonal, 211, 08018 Barcelona
Nearest Metro: Glòries (Red line)
Tip: It’s not awfully far away from Gaudi’s famous Sagrada Familia (another must-see), so it’s worth visiting both while you’re in this neck of the woods.

It’s a peculiar building, but I’ve always loved it. What do you think? Please let me know in the comments below. Hasta pronto!


 

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