El Fòrum

Area in Barceloneta, the Waterfront & El Poblenou

Once an urban wasteland, this area has seen dramatic changes since the turn of the millennium, including sparkling buildings, open plazas and waterfront recreation areas. The most striking element is the eerily blue, triangular Edifici Fòrum building by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, which houses the Museu Blau.

Next door, Josep Lluís Mateo’s high-tech Centre de Convencions Internacional de Barcelona (CCIB) is a massive work in steel with intriguing contours.

A 300m stroll east from the Edifici Fòrum is the Zona de Banys, with kayaks and bikes available for rent and other activities. This tranquil seawater swimming area was won from the sea by the creation of massive cement-block dykes. At its northern end, like a great rectangular sunflower, an enormous photovoltaic panel turns its face up to the sun to power the area with solar energy. Just behind it spreads the Port Fòrum, Barcelona’s third marina. The area is unified by an undulating esplanade and walkways (with wheelchair access) that are perfect for walking, biking and skateboarding.

The Parc de Diagonal Mar, designed by Enric Miralles, contains pools, fountains, a didactic botanical walk (with more than 30 species of trees and other plants) and modern sculptures.