'For Barcelona we focussed on developing new kinds of architecture'

Vicente Guallart, Chief Architect, Barcelona City Council

On his experience on retrofitting and rebuilding Barcelona, Vicente Guallart, Chief Architect, Barcelona City Council was addressing an audience at Construction World Architect & Builder Awards 2015 shares his views and ideas on how the focus from infrastructure to build a city has now shifted towards the use of technology.

Taking Barcelona as an example, Guallart said that “What we have looked at while developing Barcelona is how can we develop new kinds of architecture”.

In 1990s the focus was on developing infrastructure and attracting companies to Barcelona, we built highways so that companies could come in and create universities, hotels, towers etc., and the result was successful development.

However, in the recent three to four years, we developed a concept, which is at the centre of Barcelona, something like a park. For this, we demolished a highway.

We are transforming the city into a humanity scale city, one that has an approach, which is more people-oriented. From that point of view, we have been developing projects like these - we reintroduce nature, extend the side walls, etc.

The Barcelona City Council is said to be working with European companies like Cisco; and are also developing the Smart City campus.

According to Guallart, Smart Cities does not means putting gadgets but changing the model of a city.

Throwing some light on the change of resources, he said how around 100 years ago - when steel, glass, etc, were new technologies, generating electricity and using it was a challenge, while today the new challenges, that is, to use new materials, new technologies, new architecture, to make better cities.

Guallart believes that the Barcelona model can be incorporated for the Indian city, Mumbai, And expressed the willingness of the Council to work along-with Mumbai.

Click Here to read Vicente Guallart original speech