BARCELONA, SPAIN.- The Kings of Spain inaugurated yesterday morning the Agbar Tower in Barcelona, designed by architect Jean Nouvel. The building will be the headquarters for the Aguas de Barcelona (Agbar) company. The building is the third highest building in Barcelona with a height of 142 meters, 32 floors. The building has a cylindrical form. King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía of Spain headed the inauguration act. Also present were Pasqual Maragall, president of the Generalitat, the mayor of Barcelona, Joan Clos; the minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, José Montilla; the delegate of the Catalonian government, Joan Rangel; the president of Aragón, Marcelino Iglesias; and the host was the president of Agbar and La Caixa, Ricard Fornesa.
The building is made up of 4,400 windows and 56,619 transparent glass plates and translucent ones. AT ight they are illuminated. The Kings visited floor 31 and floor 20 where they greeted around 600 workers. The cost of the building was around 130 million euros.
Jean Nouvel wrote on this project: 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.
The ambiguities of material and light make the Agbar tower resonate against Barcelona's skyline day and night, like a distant mirage, marking the entry into the diagonal avenue from the Plaça de les Glorias. This singular object will become the new symbol of Barcelona the international city, and become one of its best ambassaadors.