Built to house a textile factory in 1911 by architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, this redbrick Art Nouveau Casa Ramona was opened in early 2002 as a center for art exhibits, concerts, lectures, and other cultural events. It comprises 12,000 square metres of floor space. It now houses the CaixaForum, the cultural centre belonging to the “La Caixa foundation” (Fundació "La Caixa"). with a new main entrance by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, 3,000 m2 of exhibition space, a 350-seat auditorium and an excellent mediateca.
The CaixaForum includes a selection of works from the Foundations Contemporary Art Collection as well as visiting exhibitions. There are several interesting exhibitions all year round. When I visited they had Charlie Chablin's images and films.
One of the first things that captures your attention as you approach the CaixaForum, besides the beautifully restored brick building, is the enormous steel and glass structure marking the path to the main entrance below. Two trees branch out to end under a canopy of clear glass. In the shade of these steel giants lie the escalators that convey you into the open white stone courtyard below. This courtyard conceals a garden where a fine sheet of water flows under perfectly aligned slabs of white stone.
Unfortunately, there is no translations in English though since everything there is only in Spanish and Catalan. If this doesn't bother you, it's definitely worth a visit as the entrance is free of charge.
CaixaForum is an art exhibition centre, belonging to the one of most powerful Catalan saving banks, La Caixa.
It's located in a beautiful old factory building, amazing example of Modernist industrial architecture. Most of the abandoned factory wall were respected, and with some artistic interventions of artists like Sol LeWitt and Lucio Fontana, converted it to a spectacular place. The building itself deserve a visit: 3.000 square metres, 3 exhibition halls and 2 polyvalent rooms were concerts and other activities are held. Besides, there is a permanent exhibit of contemporary art, and excellent temporary exhibitions of all kind of artistic expressions. For instance, last time I was there I saw an exhibition of Turner's paintings and another or archaeological Thracian treasures.
And more... can you believe all this is for free??? (except special activities)
Here you have as well a shop (art books and many unusual items, ideal for gifts), and a pretty good cafe/restaurant ('menu del dia' is a good deal)
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Tue to Sun: 10:00 to 20:00 (Mon Closed). Special evening activities on Wednesdays of July and August
It was a former textile factory that has become one of the most beautiful cultural centre I've ever seen.