The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia wins the competition to lead the Barcelona Urban Tech Hub

  • The Barcelona City Council has announced the winning projects to revitalize three disused industrial buildings in Besòs and 22@, among them the warehouses at Carrer Àvila, 14-18 in Barcelona, which will house the project of the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC).
  • Together with the Architects’ Association of Catalonia (COAC), Tech Barcelona and Barcelona Global, the IAAC will develop the Barcelona Urban Tech Hub (BUTH) in Ávila, a new hub for Barcelona to continue to be a benchmark in Urban Innovation.
  • The BUTH will have training and talent attraction programs, support for companies in open innovation, experimentation laboratories and performances.

Presentation at Barcelona City Hall. From the left: Artur Duart (Palo Alto BCN XRLAB), Lander Beloki (Dean of Mondragon University), Laia Bonet (Third Deputy Mayor and President of Barcelona Activa), Daniel Ibáñez (Director of IAAC) and Félix Ortega (General Director of Barcelona Activa).

The Barcelona City Council has announced today the winning projects to revitalize three disused industrial buildings in Besòs and 22@, through which new poles of innovation, talent attraction and investment will be created, diversifying Barcelona’s economy. The promoters of the winning initiatives are: IAAC, the Mondragón corporation and Palo Alto BCN XRLAB, for the Carrer de Àvila (22@), Asunción (Sant Andreu – Bon Pastor) and Palo Alto (22@) warehouses, respectively.

The strategic projects presented are part of the Barcelona Green Deal, the urban and economic agenda to make, in the next ten years, a more competitive, sustainable and equitable city, adapted to challenges such as the ecological and digital transitions. The projects will be developed with private partners together with the City Council and through Barcelona Activa.


“IAAC was founded in 2001 to reimagine how digital technologies could enable architecture and urbanism to be reinvented. Twenty years later, IAAC has developed dozens of innovative research and development projects and has a network of more than 1,500 alumni in more than 70 countries. With the allocation of these industrial warehouses, IAAC continues to consolidate an institutional project of local and international reference focused on providing innovation, talent and solutions to the great social and climatic challenges of our time.” – Daniel Ibáñez, IAAC’s Director.

“After sustained growth in the 22@ District, with the Barcelona Urban Tech Hub project, IAAC faces a leap in scale to promote the economy of urban innovation, in partnership with key entities of the city.” Ana Valles, President of IAAC’s Board of Trustees.


IAAC will develop the Barcelona Urban Tech Hub (BUTH) in carrer de Ávila, which, together with the Architects’ Association of Catalonia (COAC), Tech Barcelona and Barcelona Global, intends to create a project for advanced training with the aim of hybridizing knowledge of multiple disciplines, incubate companies related to urban technologies, develop prototypes and encourage innovation among professionals from different sectors, among other things.


“It is a great opportunity to expand the role of the architect going from being designers to being entrepreneurs and economic and social transformers of cities. The global network of IAAC’s partners is at the service of Barcelona.” – Vicente Guallart, IAAC’s Founder and Board of Trustees Member.


The new project will continue to attract international students and researchers to Barcelona and will also create an incubator program for start-ups in the field of urban tech. Collaboration with urban innovation programs focused on promoting the reindustrialization of the city within the framework of new technologies, digitization and maker culture for citizens and entrepreneurs will continue to be important, as IAAC has been doing from the Fab Lab Barcelona. BUTH will be in charge of creating a program of public conferences and scholarships for local architects, designers and entrepreneurs. The contents to be developed will be focused on the digital and ecological transition of cities to achieve a Europe of zero emissions.


BUTH is an initiative of IAAC with the collaboration of:

COAC, Tech Barcelona, Barcelona Global.

With the support of:

Local Institutions

Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Mobile World Capital, Itec, Esade, Bist, i2cat, Carnet, Fundació Catalunya la Pedrera, Fira de Barcelona, Rebuild, Col·Legi Enginyers Informàtics, Associació D’Enginyeria Técnica de la Comunicació. Graus.tic, Cci-C Clúster de la Construcció Industrialitzada de Catalunya, Barq Festival, Building Digital Twin.

Local Companies

Agbar, Acciona, Sorigue, Urbidermis, Anteverti, Italtel, Finsa, Visoren, Abacus, Ideal, McRit, Savills, Bestiario, Lead to Change, Tbsv-the Building Squad Ventures, Xilonor.

International Institutions

EIT Mobility, European Forest Institute, MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, Fab Foundation, Universidad de Desarrollo Chile, Bauhaus Earth, Harvard GSD, Sci-Arch, University of Chicago’s, Urban Theory Lab, College of Architecture and Landscape of Peking University, University, UPDIS. Urban Planning Design Institute Shenzhen, Melbourne School of Design, Habidatum, Turenscape, MIT.