La Model is reborn and attracts over 260,000 visitors in five yearsFive years after it was opened up as a space for community use, La Model has become firmly established as a meeting space for local people and organisations in L’Eixample. The transformation of the former prison, which is set to continue in the coming months, has attracted the interest of 261,000 visitors.
Some 2,500 activities and events have been organised on the site of La Model since it opened in 2018, including exhibitions, talks, lectures, film shoots, the lease of spaces, open visits, guided tours and multiple acts linked to memory and rights, the transformation of the site itself and community life in the neighbourhood of Esquerra de l’Eixample.
A site full of life
Notable activities at the site include the Primavera Republicana programme, the Festival Simfònic and the Barcelona Obertura Spring Festival, as well as the exhibitions ‘Encara hi ha algú al bosc’ and ‘Infanteses a les guerres europees, 1914-1949’. The performing arts have also found a place at La Model, with the theatre production Dones lliures. La Trinitat i la lluita per la democràcia els últims anys del franquisme.
Over 240 audio-visual shoots have also been made at the site, including photography sessions, academic works, videos, TV programmes, shorts and full-length films. Notably, the site was used in the film Modelo 77, based on events forming part of the history of the former prison.
Success of visits
The transformation of the former prison into a space for memory and community uses has enabled the general public to discover a heritage site which stands out for both its architecture and its history. In the last five years, 147,500 people have visited the site at their own pace, while over 20,200 people have taken guided tours.
Transformation with a view to the future
The opening of La Model has not only helped gain spaces for ceremonies and events but has also made it possible to enlarge the playgrounds of the Xirinacs and Entença schools and lease spaces for organisations to make regular use of them.
The transformation of La Model is set to continue soon, with a project for the future that includes a green lung of 12,000 square metres, public housing and seven municipal facilities.
The first projects to be started will be the all-through school, the multi-purpose sports centre, the energy distribution system and the memorial space. The projects for these should be drafted and the public tender processes published early this year. With a projected budget allocation of two million euros. The goal is for these projects to enter their first stage of operation between 2026 and 2027.