Jean Nouvel

Agbar Tower – Barcelona

Designed by Jean Nouvel in association with the Spanish firm b720 Fermin Vazquez Arquitectos the “Torre Agbar” at first glance looks like Sir Norman Foster’s “Gherkin Tower” in London. It is in fact meant to emulate a “geyser” or column of water as it was built for the water utility company “Agbar”.

Constructed of reinforced concrete, clad with predominantly red and blue glass panels and covered with an outer mantle of glass louvers (designed for natural ventilation) the tower encases two non-concentric oval cylinders crowned by a glass and steel done. The parabolic shape of the tower is said to have been inspired by Antoni Gaudi, who extensively used catenary arches to support his buildings

Somehow, when viewed against the backdrop of azure Barcelona sky, the “Geyser” looks to me more like a rocket returning to Earth facing an impending watery splash-down.

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