Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona

Reconditioning Martorell building

The NAT Venues Centre Martorell d'Exposicions Reconditioning Martorell building

Funded by the Barcelona City Council and the Government of Catalonia, the year 2021 saw the start of the full-scale refurbishment process of the Martorell building, the first public museum in Barcelona and Catalonia and the origin of the Natural Science Museum of Barcelona. The initial Martorell building, inaugurated in Ciutadella Park in 1882, was designed in the neo-classical style by architect Antoni Rovira i Trias.

The overall criteria applied to the renovation of the building, which has been catalogued as a site of local interest, was to preserve its original layout and volumetrics as much as possible. One significant change that does not modify the overall image of the building was the creation of a second access along the street Passeig Picasso with three large openings in the façade, providing transparency for the Centre and connecting Ciutadella Park with the district of Sant Pere, Santa Caterina and La Ribera.

The building’s full-scale refurbishment has been divided into three phases, with a total anticipated cost of €6.2 million:

  • Phase 1: Completed. The entire interior of the building has been refurbished to reconcile the respect for historic heritage with the current usage demands of a facility that is open to the public.
  • Phase 2: Completed. Coinciding with the Centre’s official opening, the work was concluded to enable access to the building from within Ciutadella Park. A platform was built to accommodate ramps, while respecting the original podium of the doric columns and the petrographic collection consisting of 31 stone blocks attached to the lateral façades of the building.
  • Phase 3: In progress. The final touches are being made to the refurbishment project, which is envisaged to repair and restore the façades and their stone ornamentation, sgraffiti and decorative elements. Once commissioned, the works are expected to begin in September. This construction phase is compatible with the normal operation of the Centre, which will remain open during its normal hours.