Following the passing of Enric Miralles, Benedetta Tagliabue successfully steered the practice onwards. While the approach will be naturally different when one half of a partnership is no longer there, the works of EMBT have evolved while maintaining the ‘flavour’ of earlier works.
Moving up in scale, the first high-rise building by EMBT is just as exuberant as earlier work on the one hand, yet more polished in resolution and detail on the other.
This new headquarters for Gas Natural Fenosa sits on the site where they first began 100 years before. It is fragmented into lower and higher elements, clad in mirrored glass, knitted together with public space and landscaping.
A lower wing connects back into the neighbourhood, while a mid-height tower with dramatically cantilevered section ties back to the higher tower, with public walkway between.
Located on the northern edge of the Bareloneta district of Barcelona, with the expressway and railway on one side, and park and football club on another, the design has taken inspiration from all of the intersecting grids and travel paths of the area, resulting in this complex composition of sinuous forms.
Out of all of this comes a highly accomplished building that appears to transform as one moves around it – from curved to cantilevered to fragmented to slender to straight and back again.
An incredibly exuberant resolution to building on this site.
Place: Gas Natural Fenosa
Photographer: Stephen Varady
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