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La Sagrera

A new station, and a new neighbourhood

Gehry's proposal for La Sagrera

Barcelona's second high-speed AVE station, the Estació de la Sagrera TAV (for Tren d'alta velocitat) is part of a huge ambitious complex destined to serve the Madrid-Barcelona and international high speed line. At first the city was going with the design proposal by Frank Gehry (in the image) featuring a 148m skyscraper, with completion date of 2016. The discovery of a Roman villa with mosaics while excavating for the station delayed work (the mosaics were removed and are being prepared for a museum.

Austerity has prompted a rethink: Gehry's massive skyscraper has been ditched for a much simpler, more symmetrical building. The current completion date for the station 2020 and the end result will look rather like the Illa Diagonal.

A 5.6km tunnel will connect it with the main Estació de Sants and most trains will stop at both. La Sagrera also has a new stop on the L4 and L10 metro lines, as well as links to the Rodalies and regular Renfe lines. Even with the Gehry skyscraper, it will still be the largest building in Barcelona, slated to serve 100 million passengers a year.

The train station is the centrepiece for an ambitious plan to pump new life into the shabby old industrial district of La Sagrera. The area already has the beautiful Calatrava Bridge; 25,000 new homes are planned.

Barcelona's already bragging about the station; they claim it will be the most attractive and efficient in Europe. Other parts of the development include a proposed transport museum and a long linear 40 hectare park over the old tracks that will be Barcelona's biggest.

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Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: bluemoon010