48h Open House BCN opens the door to new architectural treasures

Barcelona festival celebrates special edition coinciding with Model Architecture Festival

2 min
The Tosquella House

Barcelona48h Open House BCN architecture festival is a leading event for the dissemination of heritage and contemporary architecture. It will be held on the weekend of October 22 and 23, but this week, from May 9 to 15, it will join Model Architecture Festival with a series of very diverse activities, including Espais Ocults, a proposal that will allow visitors access to unique buildings that are usually closed to the public. Among these is Casa Tosquella, which will open its doors to the public for the first time after it was bought by Barcelona City Council a few months ago. This modernist tower, designed by Eduard Maria Balcells i Buïgas, is one of the most coveted Barcelona buildings by architecture lovers because it has not been accessible for decades. One of its most characteristic traits is the profusion of decorative details, such as wrought iron elements, sgraffito, wall paintings and stained glass, which were ony known through photographs. Masriera Workshop of painters and sculptors, a neoclassical treasure by Josep Vilaseca, will also open after it recently became municipal property. The two buildings will become new neighbourhood facilities after being renovated. Tosquella is planned to be a home for the elderly

The surprises of museum warehouses

Another novelty of Espais Ocults is the gallery of Vallvidrera reservoir's dam, which gives you an unusual view of the ensemble. It will also be possible to visit the washhouses of Joan Rubió and Bellvé's Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Collserola, the only remaining building of the sanatorium complex, which was never used and was destroyed during the Civil War.

The list continues with two museum warehouses that are usually a source of surprises: you can visit the Collection Centre of Barcelona's History Museum (Muhba) in the Zona Franca and the City Council warehouse in Canyelles. The Muhba's warehouse contains thousands of objects and is the place where the findings of archaeological excavations throughout the city are kept, and in Canyelles there are fragments of historic buildings and sculptures that have been removed or are awaiting placement. It will also be possible to visit a classic, the Umbráculo del Parc de la Ciutadella, one of the old pavilions of the Universal Exhibition of 1929, by Josep Fontserè.

To visit the buildings, you must register in advance at the 48h Open House BCN website starting this Friday, since groups are very limited and the list of buildings may increase in the coming days. In parallel to Espais Ocults, the activities include the launch this Thursday at Catalonia's Architect Association (COAC) of Radiomedia Arquitectura, a web repository of various media on architecture. And on Saturday, Música per Arquitectura, a project with the participation of Ramon Faura and Jason Kolàr to explain architecture with sound pieces, will premiere at Casa SEAT.