Barcelona’s famed Las Arenas stadium -- and its bloody bull-fighting past -- have been transformed into a remarkable commercial complex by Architect Richard Rogers. Built in the 19th century, the stadium fell into disrepair in the 1990s as the popularity of bull fighting declined. However, the city of Barcelona saw the cultural and historical significance of the complex, and hired Rogers to reinvent the stadium with a massive renovation - read on for a closer look!
The last bullfighting event at Las Arenas occurred in 1977, leaving the stadium a relic of an outdated Spanish tradition.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.
Via Core 77