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

Even a church building needs quality lighting, so, if the priest wants to start new renovations soon, he should change the lighting systems as well. Many businessmen and homeowners go to lighting stores in Jacksonville, FL to buy the best products for their projects. The priest can do the same and buy any type of lighting design, like chandeliers, lamps or lighting fixtures to replace the previous ones.

billmarket17's picture
billmarket17 1. March 2016 - 12:51

Any person who appreciates his personal technology he will definitely protect it by buying quality cases, like these superior Pelican cases and use them as often as possible. A video projector and other additional gadgets need special cases to keep them all the time when they aren't used.