Barcelona proclaimed Capital of Architecture for 2026
The Catalan capital recently dominated Beijing during the UIA General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro and was proclaimed the UIA-Unesco World Capital of Architecture for 2026.
Barcelona, located in northeastern Spain, will also host the Congress of the International Union of Architects (UIA). On July 28, the Consejo Superior de los Colegios de Arquitectos de España (CSCAE) announced that the city’s candidacy to host had received 147 votes, against 129 for Beijing.
“With its designation, Barcelona will once again be the world’s epicenter of architecture, 30 years after the last opportunity,” reads a statement approved by the Spanish Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, the regional government of Catalonia, the municipal council of Barcelona. and the College of Architects of Catalonia (COAC), at the origin of Barcelona’s candidacy.
Barcelona won under the slogan “One today, one tomorrow”. The title goes hand in hand with the organization of an international congress of the guild, which brings together 3.2 million professionals worldwide. Assumpció Puig, dean of the COAC and the first woman to hold this post, did not hide her enthusiasm at the announcement and recalled that “(the Catalan capital) is a benchmark in terms of architecture and public space”.
The celebration of obtaining the candidacy will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the death of Antoni Gaudí and the 30th anniversary of the holding of the last International Congress of Architecture in the city. At that time, the slogan used was “Present and future, architecture in cities”.
On the other hand, the event coincides with the possible completion of the Sagrada Família, Gaudí’s emblematic work which is expected in five years.
After hearing the announcement, the Deputy Mayor of Urban Planning, Janet Sanz, said that Barcelona “is more than ready to lead the transformation needed to make architecture and town planning two tools in the service of durability”.
For his part, the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, said that the appointment is a “broad recognition of the innovative and transformative policies that animate the city and which place us as an international benchmark”, and thanked Sanz and Xavier Matilla, chef architect of the city council, for their “leadership”.
With the slogan “One today, one tomorrow”, the UIA World Congress in Barcelona will set an example in the relationship between the city and its architecture to discuss a viable and sustainable future.