Tomás Saraceno Is Installing an Interactive Installation at the Top of Barcelona’s Famous Cigar-Shaped Torre Glòries
Tomas Saraceno is installing a new work in Barcelona which will be the star attraction of the Torre Glòries, a towering 38-story mirrored building designed by French architect Jean Nouvel in the city’s technology district. The artists’ Cloud Cities Barcelona will be installed on the 30th floor viewing space, known as the Mirador Torre Glòries, which opens to the public on May 20, offering residents and tourists a dramatic new way of seeing the city.
Saraceno’s Cloud Cities series always suspend its viewers in space. By connecting people high up off the ground—whether they are standing on a clear surface or a web-like structure—the artist seeks to defy the ideas that separate us and highlight what brings us together.
Those who step into Cloud Cities Barcelona will see the city reflected on the artwork’s mirrored facets, hanging above them in the dome at the top of the building. The work is made from 113 geometric structures connected by 6 kilometers of cable.
“These are not my quotes but I always remember them from when I was kid, who knows who might have written them?” Saraceno told Artnet News when asked about the inspiration behind the piece. “‘When clouds appear like rocks and towers, the Earth’s refreshed with frequent showers. If spiders break off and remove their webs, the weather will soon be wet.'”
Saraceno’s work has been exhibited at The Shed in New York, Palais de Tokyo, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale and 53rd and 58th Venice Biennales. It has been permanently installed at K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf.
Mirador Torre Glòries is a modern new attraction for Barcelona, adding to its number of architectural landmarks and art museums. The space unites art and science in an experience that includes a traditional observation deck, Cloud Cities and Hyperview Barcelona, an interactive data project that reflects what is happening in the city in a visual display.
The Jean Nouvel tower, originally known as the Torre Agbar when it opened in 2005, was renamed in 2017 when it was purchased by the real estate group Merlin Properties. Resembling Sir Norman Foster’s “Gherkin” tower in London, Nouvel’s rounded, cigar-like building has been given similarly comic nicknames, including the “suppository” and the “dildo.”
“This is not a tower, a skyscraper, in the American sense. It is a more an emergence, rising singularly in the center of a generally calm city,” the architect says on his website. “Unlike slender spires and bell towers that typically pierce the horizons of horizontal cities, this tower is a fluid mass that bursts through the ground like a geyser under permanent, calculated pressure.”