filmoteca de catalunya, Josep Lluís Mateo, cultural centre, sustainable design, renovation, barcelona cinema, green design, cultural district

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.

+ Filmoteca de Catalunya

+ Josep Lluís Mateo

Lead image by Adrià Goula, all others by René Pascal Siebel and Helen Morgan for Inhabitat