Text description provided by the architects. The new film theater building presents a façade on Plaça de Salvador Seguí, at an angle to Carrer de Sant Pau. Together with the existing constructions, it forms Carrer d’Espalter. It is very close to the mythical Carrer de Robador, in an area which, despite the major clean-ups still going on and the change in population, is still a popular, built-up, oppressively Mediterranean/port neighborhood.
The plaza represents a clearing in the built-up district of El Raval which, thanks to this construction, attracts new users and hosts large-scale events. A porch on the ground floor can be opened or closed according to functional needs. The film theatre is a continuation of the building line of the street, blending in with its setting.
The volume of the cinemas is underground, thereby reducing the scale and visual impact of the building. The street is widened a little, drawing the construction back from the building line. The new building reduces the ground floor section at the end walls, which also makes the street wider.
The Film Theatre was conceived as a form “under construction”, as mass and volume without detail. With that in mind, the principal material used was concrete. To accentuate this “unfinished” appearance, the beams extend to the exterior with their tensioning cables.
The brief brings together in a single building functions that were previously housed separately: the library, the archive and the two cinemas, along with administrative and other functions. There are also galleries and a cafeteria-bar.
The ground floor houses the reception and foyer to the cinemas, the vertical communication shafts, the cafeteria-bar and the necessary complementary services (ticket desk, etc.) On the first floor are the library and a permanent exhibition gallery, and the second and third floors house the offices of the ICIC (Catalan Institute of Cultural Industries). The second floor is an open-plan space that looks out over the plaza and the street, Carrer d’Espalter, with a terrace overlooking Carrer de Sant Josep Oriol. The third floor is partially lit by a courtyard that becomes a skylight in the roof of the second floor.
In the basement, beneath the building’s projection, are the two floors of archives and storage, and the part of the basement below the plaza houses the two cinemas.