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22@ Barcelona – Industrial Heritage

The industrial memory of Barcelona’s economic engine

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The 22@ project converted part of Barcelona’s industrial past into technological innovation spaces and transformed some of the city’s most important sites into industrial heritage. In the Poblenou district, the corporate headquarters of knowledge society companies can be found alongside complexes representative of Barcelona’s industrial past, creating a unique environment of tradition and innovation.

Why visit 22@?

The 22@ district is a city council initiative implemented in 2000 to transform 200 hectares of industrial land in the Poblenou district into an innovative production district. The plan also contemplated the protection of the rich industrial heritage concentrated in the district. In 2006, with a view to favouring the recovery of the symbols of Poblenou’s industrial memory the city council included in Barcelona’s heritage catalogue some 114 manufacturing elements and complexes that clearly defined the urban landscape of Poblenou to ensure the preservation of structures, passages, apartment buildings and plots through the application of specific regulatory instruments.

One of the complexes that enjoy the highest category of protection, Cultural Asset of National Interest, is Can Ricart, a Neoclassical industrial site that has remained unchanged since its construction from 1852 to 1854.

Another protected building is Can Felipa, on Carrer del Pallars, which thanks to its mansards and large windows seems more like a Parisian apartment building than an old textile factory. Built in 1855, it is now home to the district’s civic centre, which offers a wide variety of multidisciplinary activities, the Historic Archive of Poblenou and even a theatre in the attic.

La Escocesa is another example of the reuse and protection of a space. When this former textile industry chemical factory, which was built in the mid-19th century for the Catalan entrepreneur and chemist Jaume Arbós, was catalogued in 2007 as an Industrial Heritage Asset two of its buildings, covering a total of 2,400 m², were set aside for public use. Now, La Escocesa is one of a number of ‘Factories for Artistic Creation’ that provide facilities for a wide variety of visual arts.

 

How do you get to the 22@?

Hop off at the Poblenou stop on the Green Route of Barcelona Bus Turístic to stroll through the district and admire the city’s industrial heritage.

 

For the most curious of you

  • Did you know? In 1846 and 1847, a group of followers of the utopian socialist and philosopher Étienne Cabet, the author of the work "The Voyage to Icaria", founded a community called Icària in Poblenou. This is why the avenue built for the Barcelona ’92 Olympic games is called Avinguda d’Icària.
  • Local’s tip: If you want to explore the industrial heritage preserved in the Poblenou district, we recommend you take a look at this map, where you can find all the factories in the area.