The Barcelona City Council held a Contest of Ideas to transform the building of the “Borsí” into a library and equipment center for neighborhood uses. The Borsí was built between 1881 and 1883 by the master of works Tiberi Sabater. Though initially used as the headquarters of the Casino Mercantil, Barcelona’s private stock exchange, the building is currently closed and abandoned.

In a neoclassical style, its construction was the result of an urban operation of the late nineteenth century which opened a transversal road, intersecting the medieval passages The building is located in the Verónica Square, upon the Roman wall of the 3rd century.

The project proposes to reconfigure the building’s entrance such that the existing side passage, Baixada de l’Ecce Homo, becomes the primary point of access. This would allow for the required objectives to be achieved:

  • Ensure accessibility through the main entrance, without the need to incorporate ramps or platforms.

  • Promote the visibility of the rampart from both the inside and outside.

  • Generate a ripple effect of recovery and regeneration throughout the neighborhood, specifically for the passage, which is currently very deteriorated


The building is organized as follows. The most open and noisy rooms (welcome area, children’s library and bar/canteen) are on the ground floor. The library itself is unveiled on the first floor. Lastly, the neighborhood spaces are down in the basement and up on the roof. The latter has a secondary independent access point, which allows for use outside of library hours.

Location: El Gòtic, Barcelona, Spain

Client: BIMSA

Built Area: 3.547 m²

Status: Open competition (9th place)

Lead Architect: Monica Farran Astica / JE Hernández-Cros / Mendoza Partida


Marc Sánchez, architect

Alejandro Alvárez, architect

Olga Bombac, architect

Javier de Juan, architect Jr.

BEST Costales Jaen SLP, structure

JG Ingenieros SA, facilities engineering

Restauraciones Policromía SL, restoration

Q-ESTUDI, technical support


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