Designed by Jean Nouvel, the 34 storey Agbar Tower took 6 years to build and was inaugurated in 2005.
Nouvel has stated that he was inspired by Catalan icons such as Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia and the nearby mountain of Montserrat.
The tower was built for to the Agbar water company and is meant to represent a geyser spouting out of the surrounding city. Some people have also pointed out that it bears an uncanny resemblance to a giant vibrator or suppository!
Inspiration and anatomical similarities aside it is a stunning and revolutionary building. In 2011 the tower received a green building award from the European Council. The design aims to make the most of natural light as the exterior glass and aluminium panels open and close automatically. During the daytime the building stores energy generated by hundreds of photoelectric panels. At night the whole building is lit by 4500 LED panels which can change colour. Amazingly the panels are so efficient that the exterior lighting costs just €6 per hour!
The best time to see the Torre Agbar is at night when it is normally illuminated with the characteristic blue and red colours shown in the photos below. At Christmas and New Year the tower changes colour in animated computer controlled sequences. In my opinion you can’t beat the view you get when arriving in Barcelona on a night-time flight.
Torre Agbar Lighting Up Times
The tower is lit for approximately 4 hours a day.
Summer: 21:00 to 24:00
Winter: 19:00 to 23:00
Unfortunately the tower isn’t open to the general public.
At the intersection of Av. Diagonal and C/Badajoz in the 22@ district of Barcelona
How to get there:
The tower is right by the “Glories” metro stop on the red line (L1)
Bus routes: 7, 60, 62, 92, 192
Tram: T4, T5, T6