Demolition work begins on the Provincial Library of Barcelona


Demolition work begins on the Provincial Library of Barcelona

bonart barcelona - 05/09/22
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In the coming days, work will begin on the future Provincial Library of Barcelona with the partial demolition of the existing building on the lot where the library will be built. Subsequently, in 2023, construction of the equipment will begin, according to the schedule agreed last December by the Monitoring Committee, which includes the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Ministry of Culture and Sport and Barcelona City Council.

This was announced today, in the presentation of the project, by the Minister of Culture, Natàlia Garriga Ibáñez; the Minister of Culture and Sport, Miquel Iceta; the Deputy Mayor of Culture, Education, Science and Community of Barcelona City Council, Jordi Martí; and the architect of the project, Josep María Miró i Gellida.

In total, the Ministry of Culture and Sport will allocate 55 million euros to the project. Of these, 1,129,542 euros from the 2022 General State Budget will be allocated to the previous demolition tasks, and 283,888 euros will be invested in updating the existing project for its adaptation, both to the new needs of the library as well as the new regulations in energy and technology matters and the adaptation to current market prices.

The library, in accordance with the law on the library system of Catalonia (Law 4/1993, of March 18), will have the function of the central urban library of the city, as well as a metropolitan dimension, as central equipment of the demarcation from Barcelona.

Councilor Garriga has described the future library as "the fundamental piece that was missing" in the national library system and has advanced that "it will be one of the cultural facilities with the most direct impact on citizens, for its collections, for its dimensions, for its spaces and its services". In this sense, he pointed out that the start of the works is possible thanks to the "stubbornness of the library sector, the good work of the professionals who have worked on the project and the will to cooperate between the three administrations involved". "The different governments of the Generalitat have never lost the will to claim before the Ministry their outstanding obligation with Barcelona. After many years of insistence on the part of the Department, in this legislature, the library has been pushed forward definitively, and now yes, there is no turning back", he stressed.

Garriga recalled that the Generalitat has executive competence over state-owned archives, libraries, museums and cultural deposit centers: "In practice, this means that the moment the Ministry gives us the keys, The Generalitat will take charge of building maintenance, staff recruitment and management, and all organizational matters, such as the purchase of bibliographic collections or cultural activities and the promotion of reading". "From the Department of Culture, we are working to offer a territorially structured national system of public libraries, accessible, inclusive and socially involved with citizens and the environment", added the Minister of Culture.

An ambitious project

The Barcelona Provincial Library, owned by the state and management transferred to the Generalitat de Catalunya, will be the state public library with the largest investment to date. Located on a plot of land given in 2004 by the City Council, next to France Station, it will also be the largest in terms of dimensions. With more than 16,000 square meters of useful surface, it will almost triple the average size of the rest of the state libraries. It is estimated that it will have the capacity to house around 600,000 volumes.

Once the demolition work has been completed and the project update approved, a building permit will be requested from Barcelona City Council and the contract for the execution of the work will be formalized. Construction is expected to begin in late 2023 and finish in 2027.

The spaces of the future library will be designed with criteria of accessibility, adaptability, comfort, sustainability and energy efficiency. In the part intended for the public, there will be reading rooms, information rooms, access room to the general and specialized fund, children's and youth fund, daily press room, meeting room, multifunctional rooms, points of internet access, self-lending machines, rest area, exhibition area, cafeteria-bookstore, auditorium and parking area.

In the areas with restricted access, there will be specialized work and storage areas for the conservation of works entered by legal deposit corresponding to works published in the demarcation of Barcelona.


The Joint Monitoring Committee of the project resumed activity in September 2021, after seven years without meeting and thus the project was reactivated.

The project for the construction of the Provincial Library of Barcelona on the plot of the Estación de França was drawn up in 2010, after discarding its construction at the Mercat del Born.

This library is a model of good practices in the contracting of projects, agreeing with the managers of the administrations involved on the needs to be covered or actions to be carried out by each of the parties, within the framework of the Follow-up Commission. In addition, a participatory and massive ideas competition selection system has been chosen in which the quality of the proposal has been prioritized over other parameters such as the previous prestige of the contestants, among others.

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