Sometimes, iconic buildings get photographed from one side only, and so appears to be the case with the MACBA in Barcelona. We are all familiar with this white structure at the top of Plaça dels Àngels, with its glass front and curvy protrusion on the right side. But what does it look like at the back? Or on the side? Allow me to show you…
Just like the front is a mixture of the straight and the curvy, the sides and back continue with this theme, yet in a completely different way.
A large part of the structure appears much stricter, thanks to the lack of windows and the use of (mostly) square panels which remind me of the page of a maths notebook. And the sharp edges of diagonally indented window areas add to the strictness.
But the curved central part of the back side of the MACBA bring softness to this starkness, and the nooks and crannies where the straight and the curved are joined, add texture to what is otherwise a very smooth exterior.
Where the smooth joins the curved, the verticality of the many lines that have been used to differentiate these two forms cleverly creates a balance with the horizontality of the structure, which is quite wide and not very tall.
The result is impressive, in my opinion, and so I thought it worthy of showing you. If you’re in the area, do walk around the building from Plaça dels Àngels to the back (where there is a nice open space with gardens and the terrace of the café of the CCCB) and while you saunter over…
… check out the different sides of this lovely building, the ‘pearl’ of El Raval as it was dubbed at the time it was constructed.