A cultural meeting place in Barcelona
Barcelona's Palau Nacional, or National Palace, is the building that presided over the 1929 International Exhibition. In 1934 it became home to the Cataluña Museum of Art.
Despite its massive bulk, the National Palace was built in a little less than three years. It employed techniques that enabled construction work to be organised with extraordinary efficacy but ignored the problems that unfortunately stemmed from the lack of articulation between the building's different masses, the poor quality of the topmost earth at the site and the construction method, which proved practically incapable of resisting horizontal thrusts. Right away rheological and thermal action cracked the walls and roofs of the structure, which was incapable of withstanding horizontal thrusts and retractile forces.
The refurbishing work includes the consolidation of the building's foundations, the plumbing framework and the building's frames in general; installation of girders and service halls; construction of Catalan-style roofs, sandwich roofs of prevarnished metal sheeting, the Oval Room roof finished with zinc sheeting containing a copper/titanium alloy and related finishing work, and ceramic tile roofs on composite slabs; cutting, reinforcing and sealing of expansion joints in walls and frames; and the repair, consolidation and protection of cornices and outer walls. From the vestibule one can see the Grand Cupola, where work had to be done to strengthen the floor of the first storey. In addition, the cupola's body was insulated, and this, plus the newly re-evaluated loads due to use, wind and seismic resistance, made it necessary to reinforce the cupola, drum, abutments and the entire square body upholding the cupola, by means of a complex operation incorporating all known techniques of structural repair.
The Great Hall, in its day one of the largest in Europe, is envisioned in the design as a meeting place and the venue for ceremonies and events. The original tiered seating around the periphery has been partly replaced by tiers of glass seating that give a view of the great oval floor from a most unusual perspective. Altogether, as an auditorium the chamber can seat 1,000 spectators.
360º Virtual visit (Use the mouse to rotate the image around 360º)