The word “Agbar” is made up of the Castilian Aguas de Barcelona or Aigües de Barcelona in Catalan. Aguas de Barcelona is the municipal water company which today belongs to the Grupo Agbar. The holding consists of a total of 220 companies serving several sectors of the urban infrastructure.
The Torre Agbar was built by the Grupo Agbar and houses its headquarters. Since water is the focus of the Augas de Barcelona, the tower represents a water fountain that constantly changes its appearance. Depending on the incidence of light, the tower changes its colours – the coloured aluminium sheeting that reflects the light consists of 40 different colours of high gloss. In front of this layer the wall is clad with thousands of glass louvres that serve as a sunscreen and can be inclined at various angles to guarantee a maximum reflection of solar energy. The space between the façade layers allows a natural circulation of air in the building.
The Torre Agbar was designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel in association with the company b720 Arquitectos from Barcelona. It is said that Nouvel was inspired by the organic forms of Gaudí’s buildings in Barcelona and by the hills of the Montserrat. The building is often compared to a geyser reaching the sky above Barcelona.
At this moment, the Torre Agbar is the highest building in Barcelona. Only the Sagrada Familia will surmount it once the construction works are over – the building regulations in Barcelona do not allow any other building to be taller than the Sagrada Familia.
Nocturnal illumination of the Torre Agbar
When the tower is illuminated at night, it is extremely impressive. During the illumination, the 4,500 illuminated glass panels constantly change their colours. The spectacular can be enjoyed best when not standing too close to it.
Winter: Fri, Sat & Sun.: 8-11pm
Summer: Fri, Sat & Sun: 9pm-midnight
Visiting the Torre Agbar
The platform of the office building is not opened to the public so it is not possible to enjoy the view on Barcelona from up there. In the lobby of the tower, however, there is an exhibition displaying the history of water treatment in Barcelona.
Technical data of the Torre Agbar
- Height: 142 m
- Gross floor area: 50,500 m²
- Floors: 32 of which 28 can be used as office spaces
- Expanse of the façade: 16,000 m²
- Surface: 40 special colours of high gloss
- Window cases: 4,349, all differently arranged
- Total amount of windows: 4,500
- Construction period: June 4th, 1999 to January 25th, 2006
- Amount of concrete used: 25,000 m³
- Amount of steel used: 250 tons