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As a junction for traffic and rail, the Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes was a major interchange in the city – but not a great place for people.  Eventually the railways went underground, the roads were elevated, and a park was placed in the centre of a giant roundabout – the view still shown in Google Maps, from above:

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Glories 5

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And on Streetview:

Glories elevated

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It could have been worse:

Glories future

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And it almost was:

Glories past

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Before they came up with this:

Glories roundabout

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And now, as of July 2014, that’s almost gone – another part of the transformation of Glòries.

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Add it to the list of Freeways without a Future – at least in its elevated form, taking up too much public space and deterring the development of too much real estate.  So the city is in the last stage of drilling it apart and pulling it down:

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 Already it’s apparent how much space is now available, unencumbered by concrete:

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What’s to come?  It’s hard to be sure, given the financial constraints and changing plans of the city, but I’ll go with this rendering of 2012:

new-plan-for-glories_www-ara-cat

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Very close to the Cerda vision for the new centre of Barcelona, c. 1860 – a century and a half later.

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UPDATE: Robert Salvatella Santana has news on the competition winner for the redesign of Glòries

The City Council promoted in February 2013 an international competition for the selection of the team of architects for the project of urban space of the square of the Glories of Barcelona, ​​with the aim of transforming this space of 13 hectares and end the character of road junction …

1st Place Contest Prize: Urban canopy

Urban Canopy (UTE Agence Ter & Ana Coello Llobet) was the proposal chosen by the jury in the restricted competition for the Plaza de las Glories Catalanes:

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Glories winner

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More here.  Plus, a video in Catalan of the winner, and drawings from all the finalists.

Centro Comercial Glòries
Centro Comercial Glòries