First major facilities at La Model put out to tender

Invitations to tender will be issued in April for the drafting of the memorial space and the project for the Institut Escola Xirinacs, the sports halls and the centralised system for the generation and distribution of power. The process signals the start of the transformation of former prison into a hub for facilities and green space in the Esquerra de l’Eixample neighbourhood, in line with the proposal which won the competition and was provisionally approved in March’s full council meeting.

27/03/2023 16:21 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The first tendering process will be by the Barcelona Education Consortium and has a budget of 917,688,30 euros for the drafting of the final project and the set of three facilities in an area of some 10,000 square metres.

An area of 5.540 square metres will be given over to the Institut Escola Xirinacs, with two classes per year group, plus 2,842 square metres for the municipal sports hall housing a PAV3 sports centre and 1,590 square metres for the centralised system for the generation and distribution of power for the whole Model site.

The plan is for the project to be ready in 2024 so that work can start in 2025 and the facilities to come into operation in 2027.

The second tendering process has a budget of 300,000 euros for the drafting of the final project for the memorial space, to be housed on the three floors of the fourth wing, with ten themed cells and part of the panoptic tower. This section will have over 5,800 square metres off floor space in all and explain the history of the prison system.

The content for the museum project at the memorial space in La Model has been developed by the Councillor’s Office for Democratic Memory with memory organisations and local residents’ associations in the city, in coordination with the European Observatory on Memories (EUROM).

Use by youth and popular culture organisations

In parallel to the transformation, to be executed in stages, various short-term actions are being studied to be able to continue creating public uses which fill the Model site with life as soon as possible.

In the case of the Entença building, where the ground floor has already been reconditioned along with courtyard, function room, exhibition room and multi-purpose room, the plan is to grant the use of the first floor to neighbourhood organisations, responding to requests owing to the lack of available spaces in Esquerra de l’Eixample.

The urban plan also allows for a home for the elderly to be housed in this building. However, as this corresponds to the final stage of the planned transformation, the District Office made a pledge to local people to draft a project to assess what would be needed for youth and popular culture organisations (with various spaces in a whole gallery set aside for them in the definitive distribution), to be able to use the upper floor of the building.

Provisional use of La Model

Since opening up as a public space in 2018, La Model has hosted 723 activities and seen 207,398 visitors and participants at the site. In 2022 alone, the former prison hosted 152 open-access public ceremonies and activities with free admission.

Besides the activities, 326 guided tours were conducted and 58 open days held (Friday afternoon, all day Saturday and Sunday morning), with over 41,800 participants in all.