Barcelona will seek to be the World Capital of Architecture in 2026

Panoramic view of the Sagrada Familia.

Barcelona is preparing its candidacy to be the World Capital of Architecture by UNESCO and host the World Congress and General Assembly of the International Union of Architects (UIA), which will take place in 2026.

In a statement issued this Monday, the Barcelona City Council recalled that the city of Barcelona will compete with Beijing for being elected World Capital of Architecture during this year’s UIA congress in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).

In case of being the winner, The Catalan capital plans to organize events throughout 2026 to highlight the importance of architecture and urban planning among all citizens.

Specifically, the events would have as protagonists emblematic buildings of the city and large institutions, to show the commitment of the city with a “more social and sustainable” architecture that faces the urban challenges of the future, according to the city council.

Further, Barcelona will seek to be one of the headquarters of the New European Bauhaus in 2022, an innovation incubator promoted by the European Commission (EC) that will propose more sustainable and inclusive city designs.

At this point, the City Council will work with universities, entities, professional associations and the private construction sector to be one of the chosen locations.

For the moment, the council has confirmed that the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona will star in the XV Spanish Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism (BEAU), together with the Patio Herreriano Museum of Contemporary Art in Valladolid.

This event, scheduled for next year, The main theme will be the treatment of architecture on “Empty Spain” and “Full Spain”.


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