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Las Arenas, a shopping mall with history
This leisure time center includes shops, restaurants and culture and is located in Plaza de España, the main traffic artery that connects Gran Vía and the airport.
28.06.2011
Barcelona has recently included a new leisure center with different shops, boutiques and restaurants to its already existing rich and diversified commercial offer. The former bullfighting ring Las Arenas, located in Plaza de España, has undergone restructuring and transformed itself into an avant-garde commercial center. It nevertheless maintains three basic aspects: it represents a different type of leisure and commercial center both in terms of the mix between commerce and culture which gives it a social connection to the city. Las Arenas is also a building of singular beauty, it possesses an impressive architectonical appeal that converts it into an emblematic symbol of the Catalan capital and offers a panoramic view of the city of Barcelona.

Las Arenas has transformed itself without any doubt into a unique and innovative space where one can find anything from fashion boutiques, supermarkets to cinemas, and even a sports center with an open-air running track, an urban spa, the rock museum and an open space big enough to celebrate exhibitions and other events. It's located in the heart of Barcelona, Plaza de España, the main artery that connects Gran Vía to the airport. In front of Las Arenas is the Barcelona Trade Fair center, with over three million yearly visitors and an unbeatable public transportation offer which includes subway, bus, Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat and a taxi stop. The building also has a 1,750 car parking facility.

After many years of inactivity (basically since 1977), the Richard Rogers Partneship and Alonso Balaguer Arquitectos Asociados studios carried out the transformation proyect of the original Neo-Moorish building built in 1900 which originally housed the bullfighting ring. The preservation of the original façade, located 4 meters above the current street level, posed a real architectural challenge. The final result, after a seven-year process, is a revaluation of the existing area with more than 30.000m2 of global surface area, 16.300m2 allocated to commerce and 14.700m2 to leisure activities. There are six floors, three are dedicated to fashion stores, food and other services. The other three offer spaces dedicated to leisure, sport and cultural activities.

The top part of the shopping mall is crowned by a dome that covers the entire 5th floor.
It measures 27m in height with a 300m longitudinal circumference and has been built with laminated wood prefabricated elements so as to increase the lightness of the structure. The 90m diameter height transforms the central part into a restaurant area with wide external terraces that offer breathtaking views of Barcelona.

In short, it's a space dedicated to a diversified commercial offer with the ultimate wish of offering visitors a rewarding experience through the remodeling of a unique bullfighting ring into a modern, unique and innovative architectural project.
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