Las Arenas

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (as Richard Rogers Partnership) was appointed by Barcelona-based developer Sacresa to redevelop an existing bullring in the city of Barcelona into a major new mixed-use leisure and entertainment complex. This was formally opened to the public on 25 March 2011. The nineteenth century structure is strategically located at the foothill of Montjuic at the intersection of two major city highways, and the development will act as a gateway into the city from the west and a major landmark for the Plaça Espanya transport interchange.

The historic bullring, constructed at the very end of the 19th century, fell largely into disuse during the 1970s due to the declining popularity of bull fighting in Catalonia. However, the strong civic and cultural role which the building played in the life of the Barcelona over nearly a century – not only as a bullring but also as a venue for opera and theatre productions, rock concerts, political gatherings and even as a barracks during the Civil war – led to a decision by the city council that the façade should not be demolished. As a result, the redevelopment has retained and refurbished the striking mudejar façade, while creating an open and accessible entrance to the new building at street level. Within the façade of the former bullring, approximately 47,000 m² of mixed activities has been created plus a 1,250-space car park in the basement. The main activities offered are commercial, entertainment, health and leisure spaces focused around a central event space, including multiplex cinemas on the third floor and a gym and the 'Museum of Rock' on the fourth floor. In addition, a separate building – the 'Eforum' – in Carrer Llança, adjacent to the bull ring, will provide retail and restaurants at ground and first-floor levels, with four levels of offices above.

Project data
Location Barcelona, Spain
Uses Category Culture & Leisure
Dates 2000 – 2011
Gross Internal Area 105,816m²
  46,973m² (Bullring)
  5,500m² (Eforum)
  53,343m² (Parking)
Number of Floors 5 (above ground)
Client Originally Sacresa / From 2009: Metrovacesa
Architect Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Laurie Abbott, M. Angels Fernández, David Ardill, Ronald Lammerts Van Beuren, Mike Fairbrass, Angela Gates, Lennart Grut, Jan Güell, Nick Hancock, Jakob Hense, Martin Kehoe, James Leathem, Erick Maas, Tim Mason, Liz Oliver, Tamiko Onozawa, Susana Ribes, Richard Rogers, Neil Wormsley

Co-architect Alonso Balaguer y Arquitectos Asociados
Structural Engineer Expedition Engineering and BOMA
Services Engineer BDSP and JG
Quantity Surveyor TG3
Main Contractor Dragados
Acoustic Consultant BDSP and Audioscan
Existing Facade Consultant Expedition Engineering and BOMA
Project & Construction Manage Bovis