From Modernista factory to cultural centre
At the bottom of Montjuïc mountain stands CaixaForum, a social, cultural and educational centre. The building it occupies, designed by the Modernista architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, was the old Casaramona textile factory. Now CaixaForum is home to cultural activities and exhibitions.
Why visit CaixaForum?
In addition to being a social, cultural and educational centre, CaixaForum is also known for the Modernista architecture of its building. It is a building with a surface area of more than 12,000 m², built in exposed brick, which won the Annual Artistic Buildings Competition prize in 1913. It is formed by a set of horizontal units arranged on one level to facilitate the transfer of goods by means of a system of internal roads that also served as firebreaks, similar to the one in place at Hospital de Sant Pau.
The building was declared a Historic Monument of National Interest in 1976. In 2002, when the “la Caixa” Foundation acquired it, it decided to remodel it while conserving its original structure. The Japanese architect Arata Isozaki designed the monumental glass and steel structure in the form of a tree which is just in front of the building.
The centre has five exhibition halls that are home to collections of ancient, modern and contemporary art, and organises a wide variety of activities, such as film showings, music performances, conferences, and literature and philosophy cycles, in addition to educational programmes for schools and families.
“la Caixa” Foundation has more CaixaForum centres spread throughout the whole of Spain. In addition to Barcelona, there is one in Madrid, Seville, Zaragoza, Tarragona, Lleida and Palma de Mallorca. All of them share the same purpose: to demonstrate the social commitment of the foundation through the Obra Social wing of the organisation, encouraging and spreading the word about culture and art.
CaixaForum Barcelona Exhibitions
In its more than 15 years of existence, CaixaForum Barcelona has housed temporary exhibitions devoted to renowned artists of the past and present century. Some of the most important exhibitions that have been held at CaixaForum are: Dalí, Miquel Barceló, Rodin, Rubens, Velázquez, Van Dyck, Jordaens, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alphonse Mucha, Renoir, Picasso, Lucian Freud, Walt Disney and Andy Warhol, to name a few.
CaixaForum upcoming events, tickets and hours
Throughout the year, CaixaForum Barcelona offers a collection of permanent and temporary shows and exhibitions. To view these exhibitions, you'll need to buy a ticket.
All the information about buying tickets, rates and prices, hours open to the public, complete programming and planning your visit is available on the official CaixaForum Barcelona website.
For the most curious of you
- Did you know? The CaixaForum building housed the Casaramona factory, which was a pioneer at its time because it was the first to use electrical energy for its production. And not only because of that, but also because it was designed with special attention to the sanitary conditions of the workers and maximised natural light.
- Local’s tip: In the vestibule you can see two works of art: the mural that the artist Sol LeWitt created specifically for the new centre and the neon cloud that Lucio Fontana made for the Triennale di Milano in 1953.
- A must: To see Barcelona’s most social side. In addition to its exhibitions CaixaForum stands out due to the extensive agenda of cultural, recreational and educational activities it organises for all types of publics.