The Barcelona-based practice Capella Garcia Arquitectura led by the architect Juli Capella Samper has realised this 10-storey Hotel Diagonal Barcelona located in the immediate vicinity of Jean Nouvel‘s iconic Torre Agba. Completed in 2004, the hotel comprises an aquarium-inspired reception area, 240 rooms and a striking panoramic rooftop deck, which apart from encompassing a swimming pool and a cocktail and snack bars, also features an integrated decorative and highly functional pergola-like solar panel structure.
From Capella Garcia Arquitectura:
‘The building constitutes a longitudinal prism, forming a screen, with vertical corbels on the façade which stand out like white keys on a black background. The ground floor emulates a great aquarium, with independent sections for the various uses, beneath an undulating ceiling of circumferences.
‘The ground floor is inspired by a great aquarium. A glass box houses all the necessary services in organic, free and independent volumes. The undulating ceiling with circumferences is the water surface, and on the floor, like coral reefs, anemones, rocks and sea-shells… lie submerged a series of sections housing the reception area –depicting a sunken boat-: the vertical communications hub –depicting a coral reef; the toilets, bar area, etc. Each of these volumes is coated in different materials: copper, wood, glass mosaic, boulders, .. and adopts sinuous forms enveloping and containing the great pillars supporting the building.’
‘The hotel has 240 rooms of different types, which can be divided mainly into two distinct models: glassed-in rooms with direct views, and rooms with “cubes”, that is, those with a space that projects outwards from the façade, forming the great white keys seen from the exterior. This space is used to add to the bedroom a small office space and sitting room, as a plus with regard to the standard rooms. The hotel also has 12 suites and 8 special rooms at the corners, with spectacular views.’
‘The roof deck is on the 10th storey of the building, where the main hotel facilities are located, and has a great wood-lined terrace, with a solarium swimming pool, showers, and a cocktail and snack bar. On the roof deck, standing out like a pergola, is a light, transparent, metal structure, with ninety solar panels that heat the water for the hotel. This way, they are integrated –not masked- into the harmony of the whole building, overcoming the need to find an independent, and often conflictive, location for this type of structure.’