Schools, markets, libraries, and sports and cultural facilities


For many years now, improving the public space has gone hand in hand with requests from town councils to have new public facilities for the different social groups. These facilities could be newly built or could come from converting buildings with a heritage value. The AMB has taken note of these requests with projects of a carefully studied architectural quality, as should be the case of all public works, paying a special attention to aspects on the use, management and exploitation of these facilities, since all these features will predetermine the success of an investment that is inevitably high.

Improving the facilities is directly linked to the policies and objectives of the welfare state, to social cohesion and to fostering health and culture among the inhabitants of the metropolitan territory. As was done in previous mandates, facilities have received special attention, not so much in terms of the number of actions –representing 25% of all actions done–, but rather in the amount of funds allocated to them, representing 38% of the total investment.

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Projects and works
Sagarra market, in Santa Coloma de Gramenet
Renovation of Sagarra market, in Santa Coloma de Gramenet | Photograph: Jordi Surroca

During this mandate, the AMB has set out to promote the economic activity from different approaches, which includes investing directly in the old municipal markets. These spaces, besides offering a service to meet basic needs, such as selling food, are also places were neighbours meet and bring life into the streets while promoting local and quality trade.

Through the Programme of actions for territorial cohesion, and together with town councils, the AMB has invested over 17 million Euros in the following projects and works:

Sagarra Market, in Santa Coloma de Gramenet
Taking the old building, it has been totally renovated, its roof has been replaced and the foundations have been consolidated. At the same time, the basement was expanded, the façades were renewed and all the food stalls are new.

Nou Mercat de La Florida, in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat
In this case, the town council has plans to demolish the old market and build a new one with all the advances of modern times, combining stalls selling food, clothes and a large shopping mall. The plans for the basement are to have a complete parking lot, refrigerated chambers and spaces to unload goods. The top floor will be a municipal facility available to the neighbours of the area.

Nou Mercat, in Pallejà
Next to the old market, a new one has been built with the municipal police station on the top floor. Where the old market once stood there is now an underground parking lot, a large shopping mall, and a public facility used to promote business and entrepreneurship. The top roof is also a parking lot.

Renovation of the old La Plaça market, in Sant Feliu de Llobregat
The old roof covering the wooden structure is being renovated and the stalls are being modernised, adapting them to more specialised quality products.

Improvements to the market of La Muntanyeta, in Sant Boi de Llobregat
The stalls are being modernised and also a supermarket will be added, to make this facility more attractive and competitive.
In 2015, public libraries are celebrating their centenary since the first ones were built by the Mancomunitat de Catalunya (regional government). These are one of the cultural facilities that have most been promoted by the AMB, in collaboration with the town councils and the provincial council of Barcelona.

Central library, in Cerdanyola del Vallès
Peu provisional
Central library, in Cerdanyola del Vallès | Photograph: Simón García

During the previous mandate, the following libraries were added: Mercè Rodoreda (Sant Joan Despí), Titan (Cornellà de Llobregat) and Central (Castelldefels). During this mandate, the AMB has carried out the following interventions:
  • Libraries in Cerdanyola del Vallès and Badalona
  • Drafting of the project for a library in Molins de Rei
  • Studies to create reading rooms in Cornellà de Llobregat and in Sant Climent de Llobregat.
The library in Cerdanyola del Vallès is an example of how existing buildings can be reused: its programme has been adapted to relocate it to a sports centre with indoor pools, using the available spaces intelligently and with a large multifunctional room on the top floor.

The library in Badalona, in Riera de Canyadó, is located in a housing building that already exists, on the ground floor and mezzanine. Thanks to the careful work of the planners, these spaces have been turned into spaces for culture, very close to the old schools, to bring new life into the area.

The old building of El Molí, in Molins de Rei, has been renovated to turn it into a cultural centre: during the first stage the library will be developed, to replace the current one, which with a very reduced space, has one of the highest reading and borrowing indexes.
The AMB carries out dissemination actions for the metropolitan spaces it manages, designs and creates. The aim of this is to provide information on the management and actions taken, and to bring citizens and professionals closer to these spaces, while fostering their recognition and deliver on them. This task is carried out in collaboration with publishing houses and the media; also through its own publications; by submitting its projects to architecture and design contests; and by producing materials for presentations and exhibitions.

The fourth book of the collection "Espais Metropolitans" has been published. This book contains the actions carried out during the 2008-2012 period: a set of 40 works that intend to be a sample of the actions done by the AMB. These works are described and illustrated with pictures, floor plans, a short memo and a factsheet.

Participating in architecture and design contests is an essential part in disseminating the works to professionals. At the same time, the awards received for some of the works are an encouragement to continue working with the same criteria of quality and public service that are already followed.

During the period 2011-2015, the following prizes and awards were received:
  • Salvador Espriu sports areas, in Badalona. Shortlisted at the XI BEAU – 2011 Spanish Biennial on Architecture and Town Planning.
  • Renovation of the façade of Can Negre, in Sant Joan Despí. Shortlisted for the Catalunya Construcció 2012 awards, under the category of Interventions in Existing Buildings.
  • Mercè Rodoreda library, in Sant Joan Despí. Shortlisted for the Catalunya Construcció 2012 awards, under the category of Project Building Management or Direction. Shortlisted for the FAD 2012 awards, under the category of Architecture. Shortlisted for the XII BEAU - 2013 Spanish Biennial on Architecture and Town Planning.
  • Central Library, in Castelldefels. Shortlisted for the XII BEAU - 2013 Spanish Biennial on Architecture and Town Planning. Silver medal at the 2013 Laus Awards organized by ADG-FAD under the category of Graphics Applied to Spaces, for the outdoor signalling "Sopa de Lletres".
  • El Carme cultural centre, in Badalona. Shortlisted for the Catalunya Construcció 2013 awards, under the category of Project Building Management or Direction.
  • Can Mercader Swimming Pools, in Cornellà del Llobregat. Shortlisted for the Piscina Barcelona 2013 awards, under the category of Sports and Leisure Facilities.
During this mandate, and together with local councils, the AMB has promoted five main facilities projects since they have added markets and educational facilities to the most common ones –libraries, sports and other cultural facilities–. The selected projects have been carried out under the following investment programmes:

CAME: Metropolitan Actions Catalogue
PACT: Programme for Territorial Cohesion Actions
AT: AMB Technical Assistance Plan
Pla AMB / BCN: Collaboration programme with the Barcelona Town Council in public space and facilities projects

More information
See AMB projects, works and actions
Complete listing of mains actions in public space and facilities 2011-2015 (cat)