Barcelona unveils Art-Nouveau Hospital de Sant Pau premises after long revamp

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWill become home of University of the UN, UN-Habitat, European Forest Institute, among others.

The premises of Barcelona’s Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, the largest Art-Nouveau structure in Europe, were unveiled on Monday by the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, the Vice President of the European Commission, Viviane Reding, the Spanish Minister of Public Works, Ana Pastor, and the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, amongst others.

The Hospital was designed by Catalan Architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner over a century ago and it was divided in a set of pavilions located in a park. It treated its very last patient in June 2009, before moving to new facilities. After 5 years of renovation works, the compound has become a center devoted to research and innovation, now hosting renowned international institutions, such as the University of the United Nations, UN-Habitat and the European Forest Institute. The site is also looking to become a major tourist attraction within the Modernist route of the Catalan capital, located less than 10-minutes away from the Sagrada Família. 120,000 visitors are expected each year. All the politicians present at the unveiling stressed that the rehabilitation was the result of a close collaboration between governments and institutions.

Total cost of €107 million

The total cost of the works will amount to €107 million, but so far €72 have been spent as 2 pavilions are currently still being restored and the works have yet to start for another 4. Almost 40% of the budget has been allocated by the Most Illustrious Administration (MIA), the consortium that owns the Hospital de Sant Pau. In addition, the Catalan Government and Barcelona’s City Council have provided an additional €6.2 million, the Spanish Government €20 million and the European Union FEDER fund €17 million. Jordi Baiget, the Catalan Government’s MIA Representative, explained that such a price is in the lower middle range for a building of this size, the largest European Art-Nouveau venue, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Baiget added that despite the costs, they’re not trying to profit from the building and that revenues will only be used for maintenance costs.

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