Ohla Hotel, Barcelona


This project was developed working for alonso Balaguer y arquitectos asociados. For more information, please check their web address www.alonsobalaguer.com

Ohla hotel has been the best experience of my life.

It could have just been seen as a 72 bedroom 5 star boutique hotel, in the centre of Barcelona. But Ohla is so much more than this. Besides every corner, every element, every piece of furniture, there is a long story to explain.

Here is just as a sample…

In September 2006 I contacted Frederic Amat, a local artist,  www.fredericamat.net, and invited him to do something on the building that would bring  soul to the site, that should be a lot more significant than the mere architecture could provide. After 4 years of constant fighting with the local authorities and public opinion, we managed to build the ”Mur d’ulls”  consisting of 1000 ceramic eye balls stitched on to a dark blue painted façade that not only works as a acknowledgements of the city’s art deco tradition, but also turns the building into a landmark that heals the scars left by the construction of the Via Laietana in 1920.

However, the hotel is a lot more than this art work.

Maintaining a dialogue with such a significant piece of art, the whole building is a quiet balance between light and shadows. Each room obtains the best possible views that such an amusing location provides. While each different area of the building, from the rooftop terrace to the restaurants on the street level are designed as a exercise in scenography, in which respect for the site, the use of high quality materials and the control of light works as a thread that unifies all the elements.

Photos : Josep Maria Molinos

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