July 23rd marked the inauguration ceremony of the building housing the central office Barcelona GSE, designed by renowned architect Juan Navarro Baldeweg.
The new building, which the Barcelona GSE has inhabited since it opened in February 2008, is situated on the Ciutadella campus of the School, site of 4 of the 6 masters programs. The building is also home to one of the GSE’s founding academic institutions, the Centre for Research in International Economics (CREI).
The inauguration, in the subterranean lobby of the building, was opened with short speeches by Josep-Joan Moreso, Rector of the UPF; Blanca Palmada, Commissioner of Universities and Research; and Juan Navarro Baldeweg, architect of the building. Many members of the GSE community, including GSE Chairman Andreu Mas-Colell, attended the ceremony and following cocktail and tapas reception.
UPF Rector Josep-Joan Moreso (left), Architect Juan Navarro Baldeweg (middle) and Commissioner of Universities and Research Blanca Palmada (right)
The three speakers were the first to toast to the new building
Rector Moreso hailed the new building as an indication of the thriving academic and research community associated with the UPF. The GSE serves as a prime example of this, creating a “great platform for economics research and teaching.” He also used the occasion to announce plans to rename the building after a to-be-determined influential female academic from the social sciences.
The building, temporarily dubbed Wellington 1, makes an impression for several reasons: besides its highly acclaimed architecture, it overlooks the Barcelona Zoo, treating the building’s inhabitants to sounds of lions’ roars at feeding time and glimpses of exotic birds high in the trees.
The other side of the building borders on the Jaume I building of the Pompeu Fabra University, which was formerly a military barracks. An exterior passageway on the 3rd floor connects the two buildings.
The new building is 3.600 square meters and has 5 floors, including a subterranean space ideal for presentations, conferences, and classes. The Barcelona GSE, located on the 2nd floor, also features a modern classroom as well as a student computer lab with new Mac computers.
The Wellington 1 building holds two other institutions in addition to the GSE and CREI: the Research Service of the Unit of Innovation and Research Parks and the Research Centre for Economy and Health (CRES), both affiliated with the Pompeu Fabra University.
Juan Navarro Baldeweg, the building’s architect, is one of the most respected contemporary Spanish architects. Also a highly acclaimed artist, his paintings have been exhibited at top galleries all over the world. Originally from Santander, Spain, he holds a doctorate in Architecture from the Polytechnic University of Madrid, where he also holds a post as Professor of Architecture Projects.
Navarro has been Professor at Yale, Princeton, Harvard, Polytechnic University of Madrid and University of Navarra. He has won numerous awards in architecture, including the National Prize of Fine Arts in 1990 and the highly coveted Heinrich-Tressenow Gold Medal for architecture in 1998.
On three occasions—1991, 1992, and 1998—he was selected as a finalist for the Mies van der Rohe prize. In 2000 he was named an academic of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in San Fernando, and in 2001 was named Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. The Wellington 1 building is his first project in Barcelona.
A cava and tapas reception followed the ceremony
The reception was attended by all of the workers of the buildings as well as key members of the academic community