One of the masterpieces of industrial Modernisme, this former yarn and textile factory was designed by Puig i Cadafalch and celebrated its centenary in 2011. It won the Annual Artistic Buildings Competition prize in 1913, but has unfortunately spent most of the last century in a sorry state, briefly acting as a police barracks before falling into dereliction. Even in ruins, the building was declared a Historic Monument of National Interest in 1976. Fundació La Caixa, the charitable arm of Catalonia's largest savings bank, bought it and set about rebuilding.
The original brick structure was supported, while the ground below was excavated to house a strikingly modern entrance square by Arata Isozaki, a Sol LeWitt mural, an auditorium, a bookshop and a library. In addition to the permanent contemporary art collection, there are three impressive spaces for temporary exhibitions – often among the most interesting shows to be found in the city. The CaixaForum is also home to the neon cloud that Lucio Fontana made for the Triennale di Milano in 1953.