Gallery: Barcelona’s ‘Las Arenas’ Bullfighting Ring Transformed Into Ep...

The ground levels were developed to host a bevy of retails stores, restaurants and offices. The ground floor plazas also connect to the popular nearby Parc Joan Miro.

The last bullfighting event at Las Arenas occurred in 1977, leaving the stadium a relic of an outdated Spanish tradition. Although bullfighting has somewhat fallen out of favor (outside of Pamplona that is), it is still an important facet in Spain’s history. Therefore the city sought to preserve the historical significance of Las Arenas while bringing the building into the 21st century. Giant shopping centers are not prevalent in Barcelona, so this new plan was guaranteed to stand out.

Rogers sought to re-establish the ring as an important landmark for Barcelona by preserving the façade and gutting the inside for new purposes. The ground levels were developed to host a bevy of retails stores, restaurants and offices. The ground floor plazas also connect to the popular nearby Parc Joan Miro. Rogers developed an adjacent office building, called the Eforum, to compliment the cylindrical façade of the bull ring. The new structure pays tribute to the original architecture while creating a modern commercial space.

The project’s most impressive feature may well be its most prominent addition – a 100-meter circular area now rises above the original roof. The new rooftop includes a 76-meter diameter dome and a surrounding promenade which offers a 360-degree view. The new roof hosts terraces, cafes and restaurants that offer supreme views of the city from every angle.

The new Las Arenas complex did a remarkable job of reusing a historical city relic while establishing a commercial shopping center in the city of Barcelona.

+ Richard Rogers

Via Core 77


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  1. giada a. roma August 19, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    beautiful architecture

    here you can find some photos of the interior commercial complex

  2. Barna May 29, 2011 at 6:06 am

    Being that I live in Barcelona and work in architecture I kept my eye on this project from the beginning because of the incredible engineering feat that it would be. Although I normally enjoy and appreciate when old buildings are renovated to save their historic beauty and importance I think that this project is one that we must wonder if it would have been more feasible to tear it down and reclaim the materials instead of preserve it. I marveled at the beginning stages when they had the façade on hydraulic lifts to raise it up little by little. But in 2008 when the original promotor had financial problems and construction stopped for 9 months until another company came in and injected 70 Million Euros (around 100 million US dollars and I don’t know how much the original promoto put in) I began to ask myself up to which point does a “modern era” building have a life? And to which point do we put a price tag on history? Does the building we are trying to preserve cease to have the history we’re trying to save once we have made such a change? I think it’s quite an interesting dilemma for architects and I congratulate Roger’s team on their work.

    And just for the record I think that Barcelona does have large prevalent shopping centers. From Glòries, Diagonal Mar, Gran Via II, La Maquinista, L’illa, to l’Anec blau, etc.

    Great story Ms. Zimmer.

  3. Alessandro Zara May 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Something similar happened with the Caracas bullring Nuevo CVirco de Caracas

  4. shuffler May 27, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Nice!!!. In Lisbon the same happened some years ago – the main bullfight arena in lisbon – being less and less used for thata – was also transformed to a nice shopping mall. they kept the arena that can be used for other shows. Check it @

  5. arcilook May 27, 2011 at 5:09 am

    Now that is what we call smart recycling!

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