Comprehensive remodeling of a disused historic building on the Rambla in Barcelona

Rehabilitation of the oldest theater in the city of Barcelona to open an immersive arts center in 2024.

Teatre Principal a Barcelona
Teatre Principal a Barcelona

Principal Theater in Barcelona

The transformation of the Principal Theater will maintain the façade and its heritage character and will have six rooms with a capacity of about 2,520 people, which will communicate through an interior space that will function as an open passage and will link the Rambla and Lancaster Street.


Batlleiroig Arquitectura. Enric Batlle Durany, Joan Roig i Duran, Albert Gil Margalef, Helena Salvadó Giné, Abel Porcar Badal, Meritxell Moyà Vilalta / Garrigues Advocats. Pablo Molina / Antoni Vilanova – Architect (historical study)


Mercedes Blay Blanc – Architect and urban planner / Ronda Quetglas Aragay, Ignasi Rincón Riquelme, Annabel Barba Calpe, Joan Balle Llabrés – Architect


Inversiones Hoteleras ATIR

Project status

Initially approved

Start date


Total area

3.460 m2

Roof area

11.325 m2
© Antonio Navarro Wijkmark

A witness to the history of Barcelona

The Principal Theater has been a central point in the life of the people of Barcelona. Since its inauguration, it has been a witness and protagonist of many events in the history of the city. In fact, its façade changed the layout of the Rambla in the 18th century.

Operas, concerts, dances, an exhibition of fronton and Basque pelota were premiered inside, but events of great social and economic impact were also held, such as the act of bankruptcy of the first railway lines in Spain, POUM meetings during the civil war and shows in support of the combatant forces. The dome and the Ramblas rooms were for a time the Monforte Billiards Club and also a performance hall where artistic cabaret functions were held. There they performed, among others, Ocaña, Àngel Pavlovsky, Christa Leem, Pepe Rubianes… A building full of stories that was even the headquarters of the Ateneu Barcelonès.

© Antonio Navarro Wijkmark

A respectful intervention

The Principal Theater is a building located at the bottom of the Rambla in Barcelona, ​​just in front of the Plaza del Teatro, which is named after her. It also has a façade in the Raval neighborhood, along Arc del Teatre and Lancaster streets and through the Anna Muriá square.

In the second half of the 16th century the first Theater was built. In the same place and after successive fires and renovations, we find the current complex, of which the façade of the Rambla by the architect Francesc Daniel Molina stands out, built in 1847 and, inside, four different main pieces: the Theater itself Main, renovated after the 1933 fire, the Latin Theater, built at the beginning of the 20th century, the Venus Dome, built in 1847 by the architect Molina, and the Jai-Alai pediment, built after the 1915 fire by the architect Adolf Florensa .

The intervention will consist of creating an open cultural center on the Ramblas and the Raval, where the different pieces will be able to receive various activities. For this reason, and with the need to improve the relationship between the various spaces and adapt them to current regulations, an interior passage will be built that will connect the Rambla with the Anna Murià square, and vertical and horizontal communications that will relate the different dependencies.

On the other hand, the three access windows to the main balcony on the Rambla of the 1847 façade will be recovered, and the volumes and roofs will be ordered for a better integration of the building with its surroundings. The interventions will also involve the preservation and rehabilitation of all the pieces that have an entity and heritage values ​​and the conservation of those elements that, without belonging to any of the main spaces, have some formal value, and / or that can be discovered in the analytical deconstruction that is carried out.

© Antonio Navarro Wijkmark