The Filmoteca de Catalunya is a fantastic movie theater in the heart of Barcelona. Located in the city's Raval district, the public building was designed by architect Josep Lluís Mateo with the aim of bringing a blossoming new cultural hub to life. The centre, which was handed over in April 2011, also houses the ICIC (Institut Català de les Industries Culturals) and is part of an ongoing bid to help move the district further away from it's history of prostitution and petty crime.
Situated in the middle of a bustling plaza and surrounded by apartment buildings, the concrete construction is a colossal cube monument that transforms the area. With the two cinema screens housed in the basement, the final size of the building was reduced dramatically to allow the rest of the plaza to remain filled with bars and cafes for its neighbors and passers-by.
The structure is solid and continuous, and the form, with its strict angles and straight lines, is a stunning addition to the surrounding buildings. In sharp contrast with the crumbling walls of the nearby houses, the structure is a neat grey mass that appears illuminated under sunlight.
Inside, the ground floor of the building is dominated by colored glass windows that distort the image of passers-by. It is modern and metallic, creating a sleek finish. Beyond the beauty of the contemporary design, the Filmoteca is an affordable space for the public to use, offering a creative range of movie cycles, talks and film festivals for affordable rates to library-card holders.
Lead image by Adrià Goula, all others by René Pascal Siebel and Helen Morgan for Inhabitat