Glass building transitions old to new
The building houses the offices of the natural gas utility in the city, and was built on the site of the city’s original natural gas plant. Like the tower itself, the cantilevered extension is also fully occupied workspace. Architects Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue of EMBT submitted the winning building design, but Miralles never saw the completed project. He died shortly after his design was accepted.
Because the glass used in the building is low-emissivity coated glass, the building is highly energy efficient. The architects intended to create a landmark for the Barcelona skyline, and they succeeded. At the same time, the building is close to low-rise housing, so the designers wanted their building to “communicate” with the surrounding low-rise buildings.
The building is located on the edge of an area of the city known as La Barceloneta, which borders the Mediterranean Sea, and was originally constructed in the mid-1700’s. La Barceloneta is a gateway to the rest of the city, but it is still largely residential, which explains the architects’ desire to avoid building a tower that did rose abruptly among the surrounding low-rise buildings.
The building has been complete for just 11 years, and offers a distinctively modern appearance. In addition to the low-rise buildings, the Torre Mare Nostrum is also near two other skyscrapers also designed in the High-Tech Architecture style – the Hotel Arts and the Torre Mapfre.
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Photo Credit: Teresa Grau Ros , via Flickr.com