A place for movies

A place for movies

Film Theatre of Catalonia

A Square turned into a Film or a Film that becomes a Square?


“A building is always the expression of intelligence and sustained will brought to bear on a specific place. We cannot abandon the project to its fate. We have to accompany it until the idea, converted into matter and space, starts living its life. Then, we disappear; the building no longer belongs to us.”Josep Lluís Mateo, 2009

The Film Theatre of Catalonia is located in the Raval district of Barcelona, an ​​area that has been going through a modernization process some years ago, but still retains its character and dense port district. It is a building accessible by the public and sits on the edge of a square. Designed by MateoArquitectura, the building has been made to highlight the differences in order to establish a positive relationship with its neighbors which are in a poor condition, thus it doesn't want to look modern really.

To reduce the impact of the building for the area it is as high as the structures surrounding it,the volume of the movie theaters have been located below ground. The context then becomes stronger, the square becomes the entire ground floor and provides light and space environments. On the other hand, the material chosen by JosepLluis Mateo for his construction is concrete, which links the structure and is completed in a continuous mass aiming at establishing a relationship with the ruins being its neighbors.

The movement

Inside the building we can find two types of movements: the descent into the darkness of the cinema and the ascent to the light, towards the work places. These different types of movement are certainly the most fascinating part of the Film Theatre of Catalonia, in which two courtyards are connected with each other but they do not touch one another and thus build up a continuous motion.

The structure

The structural scheme arises from the spatial arrangement of the building, which takes place around two rectangular volumes: one is completely below ground, while the other stands above ground.

The functional requirements and the layout of the building space available result in two very different concepts: the structure which is below ground houses theaters, so it´s necessary to have large open spaces without elements such as columns or dividing walls, while the aboveground structure makes it easy for light to come in from outside.


The metaphor of cinema

The Film Theatre of Catalonia has outside elements, wires and perforated metal sheets filtering natural light, providing privacy for the audience inside, however, the outside world is still visible.  . On the higher tiers inside you will also find filters in the form of glass partitions dividing the color space working like camera diaphragms, controlling the intensity and the color of the natural light coming in. 



Further projects in Barcelona…


Project details


Mateo Arquitectura


Completed: 2011


GFA: 1000 m²


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valyspin's picture
valyspin 11. December 2014 - 12:06

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prabirbanik82's picture
prabirbanik82 9. January 2015 - 13:08

The place looks simply so brilliant, the design is snazzy and so modern that it stands out from other such places. One can also do a bit of experimenting with the house they live in with the help of a good residential remodeling VA company. Before taking any such step you should prepare a good plan first.

prabirbanik82's picture
prabirbanik82 13. January 2015 - 12:37

This film theater has a breathtaking design, it is so snazzy yet it has a very laid-back ambiance. However, such dynamic designs could be achieved with the help of a skilled designer. You can find plenty of affordable and skilled designers online, not just that but you can also find moving companies which offer St. Louis residential moving online.

modhuleenab's picture
modhuleenab 14. January 2015 - 10:49

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modhuleenab's picture
modhuleenab 14. January 2015 - 11:10

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billmarket17's picture
billmarket17 19. March 2015 - 8:53

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