As early as 1888, the Universal Exhibition was celebrated in Ciutadella Park, leaving architectural emblems such as the Paseo Lluis Companys. Barcelona had discover the way to promote itself and obtain the funds to build its architecture: an international event. It did so again in 1929 with another Universal Exhibition which resulted in several landmarks in the Montjuic area, and finally culminated in the 1992 Olympics, the ultimate international event.
the barcelona model
The city opened up towards the sea, created important infrastructure and implemented the idea of executing small projects with dramatic effects. And so the Barcelona model was born since then, it seems that urban policy seeks to keep the city in the spotlight by inviting starchitects to leave their mark or inventing international events.
The last of these, categorized as the largest sham in the history of the city, was the Forum of Cultures 2004. The result : an expanse of ill-planned urban space and a series of buildings that separately, not as a whole, constitute the new architecture of the city.
Consolidating Cultural Identity
Barcelona believes in and will continue to believe in architecture as a means of consolidating it’s cultural identity, but it is clear that entering into a fierce competition to call attention to itself without a clear policy framework is not the most appropriate way to do so. You be the judge.