The Torre Agbar (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈtorə əɡˈbar]) is a 38-story skyscraper / tower located between Avinguda Diagonal and Carrer Badajoz, near Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, which marks the gateway to the new technological district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel in association with the Spanish firm b720 Fermin Vazquez Arquitectos and built by Dragados. The Torre Agbar is located in the Poblenou neighbourhood of Barcelona and is named after its owners, the Agbar Group, a holding company whose interests include the Barcelona water company Aigües de Barcelona.
The tower measures a total of 50,693 square metres, of which 30,000 are offices, 3,210 technical facilities, 8,132 services, including an auditorium, and 9,132 square metres for parking. It cost 130 million Euros to build. It opened in June 2005 and was officially opened by King Juan Carlos I on 16 September 2005. It is one in a collection of High-tech architecture examples in Barcelona.
The building is owned by the multinational group Agbar which has its corporate headquarters in the building and that takes up most of the floors, renting the remainder. The Agbar Tower was acquired in March 2010 for 165 million euro, after reaching an agreement with its former owner, the investment group Azurelau. Azurelau previously had bought the property in mid-2007. The purchase price was not disclosed.
A Symbol of Barcelona:
Once it was finished, the Agbar Tower quickly became an architectural icon of the city of Barcelona and one of its most famous buildings. However, it was not initially immune to criticism from citizens and experts who said that its characteristics did not fit into the architecture of Barcelona. Over time it has become one of the symbols that universally identify the Catalan capital and is one of its tourist attractions.
In mid-2008, a number of Catalan public institutions made a list that included the major cultural icons in the Autonomous Community that were meant to serve as models for tourist souvenirs which identity Catalonia, and the tower was included in it. The popularity of the tower to tourists is such that a visit to the tower has become a part of tourist bus routes (and even the helicopter tour) and many tourists take an opportunity to visit the inside. The impact of the image of the tower is such that many groups have chosen its vicinity as a place to carry out their demands, and in some cases even to enter it by force.