Torre Agbar, Barcelona, Spain

Jean Nouvel
Date Built
2001 - 2005
Avinguda Diagonal and Carrer de Badajoz
Torre Agbar's website says that the building stands 142m high and is, "composed of two non concentric oval cylinders crowned by a glass and steel dome.  The inner cylinder holds the vertical traffic nucleus and the installations.  Between the central axis and the exterior there are 31 spacious floors without internal columns."

The architect's view is that, "This is not a tower, a skyscraper, in the American sense. It is a more an emergence, rising singularly in the center of a generally calm city. Unlike slender spires and bell towers that typically pierce the horizons of horizontal cities, this tower is a fluid mass that bursts through the ground like a geyser under permanent, calculated pressure. ...

... The surface of the building evokes water: smooth and continuous, shimmering and transparent, its materials reveal themselves in nuanced shades of color and light. It is architecture of the earth without the heaviness of stone, like a distant echo of old Catalan formal obsessions carried by a mysterious wind off the Monserrat.”

Torre Agbar dominates the Barcelona skyline especially at night when its changing colours are most apparent.  It is clad in 59,619 glass sheets and can choose from 40 different colours when creating its surface displays.