In 2015, Studio Odile Decq won the international competition to transform the skeleton of a building abandoned by the 2008 financial crisis into an emblematic residential project. Overcoming the limitations imposed by the existing structure and the municipal government’s aversion to skyscrapers, the French architect delivered an architecture and lifestyle work that not only evokes the creative spirit of Barcelona, but also brings a breath of fresh air to the Diagonal Mar area, next to the Forum, as well as a new icon for the city’s skyline.
Its fluid forms give it a dynamic and organic appearance.
the antares project, of 30 floors, includes luxury residences, gardens and facilities. It stands at the beginning of Diagonal Avenue, along with other significant buildings, such as the Diagonal One Tower, headquarters of Telefonica, designed by Estudi Masip-Bosch, and the Museum of Natural Sciences, by Herzog & de Meuron. Odile Decq transformed the conventional static image of a skyscraper into a fluid and dynamic form, with an undulating façade that changes the perception of the building depending on the point of view. The curves of each balcony create the phenomenon of entasis (bulging part of the shaft of some columns), the same visual trick used in the Parthenon in Athens, increasing the impression of height. The fluid lines, together with the use of intense red to highlight the top floors of the building, evoke both the waves of the neighboring Mediterranean Sea and the creative language of two geniuses associated with Barcelona, the painter Joan Miró and the architect Antoni Gaudí.
The red color applied to the top helps to highlight its presence and evokes the vitalist and Mediterranean spirit of Barcelona.
To reach the allowed height limit of 100 meters, sten floors were added to the existing structure, which opened space for 88 apartments with various typologies: from homes of 100 square meters to duplexes with a height of almost 6 meters and penthouses of 400 meters. Each floor of the pre-existing structure was extended to create wide sinuous balconies. Antares culminates with a terrace that includes an infinity pool and 360-degree panoramic views of the city and the sea. On the ground floor, a garden, an outdoor pavilion and additional facilities also designed by Odile Decq –including a 1,000-meter wellness area with a spa, swimming pool, sauna, gym and yoga area– complete the project.
The building includes a wellness area of one thousand square meters with a spa area, swimming pool, yoga and gym.
The French architect explains that «when I was chosen they told me that my proposal was the one that best captured the spirit of Barcelona. When asked why, they alluded to the color red at the top. For them it represented the vision of a vitalist building». And it is that red is a recurring motif in Odile Decq’s work. «It’s one of my favorite colors. Also black, but I don’t like to impose my aesthetic dress code on my architecture clients. Red is the color of Barcelona. It’s passion, life. I wanted to use it at the top of the building like a flag that would highlight its presence and identity».
The interior floor plan is designed to project the inhabitant towards the spectacular views. The sea, the horizon and the city are omnipresent thanks to the large glass surfaces and balustrades.
«With Antares I have sought a design that breathes the same dynamism that emanates from the city itself and that has always fascinated me. This gives the building a strong personality while showing a holistic approach to design from the outside in, based on the idea that each part of the building is related to the whole», concludes its author.