Barcelona proclaimed the Capital of Architecture for 2026
In 2026, the city of Barcelona will host the Congress of the International Union of Architects (UIA) and will be the World Capital of Architecture.
The Catalan capital recently prevailed over Beijing at the UIA General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro, and has been proclaimed the UIA-Unesco World Capital of Architecture for 2026.
Barcelona, located in northeastern Spain, will also host the Congress of the International Union of Architects (UIA). On July 28, the Consejo Superior de los Colegios de Arquitectos de España (CSCAE), announced that the city's bid to host had received 147 votes, compared to 129 for Beijing.
Barcelona acollirà el Congrés de la @UIA_Architects i serà Capital Mundial de l’Arquitectura 2026
Una oportunitat per enfortir el paper de la ciutat, Catalunya i Espanya com a centres de producció i pensament d’arquitectura i urbanisme contemporanishttps://t.co/efhlRR5dOK pic.twitter.com/1CK2jxpbfj
— Col·legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya (@COACatalunya) July 29, 2021
"With its designation, Barcelona will once again be the world epicenter of architecture, 30 years after the last occasion," read a statement endorsed by the Spanish Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, the regional government of Catalonia, the Barcelona City Council and the College of Architects of Catalonia (COAC), who were behind Barcelona's bid.
Barcelona won under the slogan 'One today, one tomorrow.' The title goes hand-in-hand with the organization of an international congress of the guild, which brings together 3.2 million professionals worldwide. Assumpció Puig, dean of the COAC and the first woman to hold this position, did not hide her excitement at the announcement and recalled that "(the Catalan capital) is a benchmark in terms of architecture and public space."
The celebration of winning the bid will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the death of Antoni Gaudí and 30 years since the last international architecture congress was held in the city. At that time, the slogan used was 'Present and future, architecture in cities.'
On the other hand, the event coincides with the possible completion of the Sagrada Família, Gaudí's emblematic work that is planned for five years from now.
After hearing the announcement, the deputy mayor of Urban Planning, Janet Sanz, said that Barcelona "is more than ready to lead the necessary transformation to make architecture and urban planning two tools at the service of sustainability."
For her part, the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, said that the nomination is a "broad recognition of the innovative and transformative policies that are driving the city and that place us as an international benchmark," and thanked Sanz and Xavier Matilla, chief architect of the city council, for their "leadership."
With the slogan 'One today, one tomorrow,' the UIA World Congress in Barcelona will lead by example in the relationship between the city and its architecture to discuss a viable and sustainable future.