International ideas competition launched to transform ten party walls

Barcelona World Capital of Architecture 2026 gets under way with the launch of an international ideas competition for young architects to transform ten permanent party walls, one in each district, to make them into new façades. Open until 5 August and conducted in conjunction with UNESCO and the International Union of Architects (UIA) as part of the city’s Architecture Weeks, the competition seeks architectural projects that give meanings to currently anonymous and inconspicuous walls in public spaces, in a permanently provisional state.

11/06/2024 14:12 h

Ecologia Urbana

The ten party walls to become new façades will be part of the legacy left by the city being the World Capital of Architecture 2026, the year when they will be inaugurated. Barcelona is set for a few months brimming with architectural activities in 2026, such as the UIA World Congress of Architects.

Barcelona City Council, through the Municipal Institute for Urban Landscape and Quality of Life (IMPU), has a record of around six thousand party walls, representing a significant presence in public space in the city. These are anonymous walls, dividing properties and with no sort of prominence in the external appearance of building. They also generate shortfalls in building temperatures and housing construction, as they are not conceived as outside façades. At present, of all the party walls in the city, 348 are permanent and have more than 100 square metres of surface space. These walls will not disappear, as according to current planning they will not be covered by other buildings, and they give onto public spaces with the visual impact that this brings.

With the ideas competition launched this week by Barcelona City Council and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe, in collaboration with UNESCO and the UIA, the idea is to reflect on these types of party wall, renew them and improve the liveability of the homes in question.

Ten permanent party walls have been chosen for the competition, one in each district, based on a territorial distribution criterion and seeking walls with the highest landscape impact, always in line with the properties of the buildings in question. The projects put forward will be evaluated according to criteria on urban quality, liveability, sustainability and biodiversity. The deadline for entries is 5 August. An international jury will be tasked with choosing the winning projects, which will be announced in September.

The locations of the ten walls chosen are:

  • Plaça de Martina Castells (Ciutat Vella)
  • Nàpols, 103 (L’Eixample)
  • Quetzal (Sants-Montjuïc)
  • Avinguda de Madrid, 161 (Les Corts)
  • Jardins de Marià Manent (Sarrià – Sant Gervasi)
  • Rosselló, 379 (Gràcia)
  • Dante Alighieri, 151 (Horta-Guinardó)
  • Pare Rodés, 27 (Nou Barris)
  • Agustí i Milà, 55 (Sant Andreu)
  • Espronceda, 321 (Sant Martí)


Tota la informació del concurs es pot consultar al nou web de la Capital Mundial de l’Arquitectura: