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This incredible building-slash-artwork in Spain is finally opening to visitors

The Espai Corberó near Barcelona has been bought into public ownership, meaning you should soon be able to visit

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham
News Editor, Time Out UK and Time Out London
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With its arches that stretch out over thin air and staircases that lead absolutely nowhere, the Espai Corberó is a pretty weird place. Once described by its creator Xavier Corberó as a work of both architecture and sculpture, the Espai (which means ‘space’ in Catalan) is a maze of strange floating platforms and empty caverns.

Xavier Corberó was a Catalan sculptor known for his huge public artworks. One of Spain’s most celebrated modern artists, he began building the Espai Corberó in 1968. Featuring eight buildings, 300 arches and a 250-person underground theatre, the structure was intended as his own workshop and headquarters.

Corberó died in 2017 and for the past five years his Espai has been only accessible via appointment. But, now, excitingly, it is set to open up to the public.

The building was recently bought by the local council for €3 million (£2.6 million, $3.1 million) which, considering this place is such a massive work by one of Catalonia’s most celebrated artists, actually sounds like a bit of a bargain.

It isn’t known yet exactly what the council will do with the Espai Corberó, but it’s expected that it will turn the sculpture-slash-building into a tourist attraction that people can visit a bit more easily.

While it’s still home to Corberó’s widow, Midu Rica, and has starred in various films and fashion shoots over the years, the Espai is a bit rugged and overgrown with weeds.

Here are a few shots of what it looks like at the mo.

Espai Corberó, Catalonia
Photograph: Mari Luz Vidal for Openhouse Magazine
Espai Corberó, Catalonia
Photograph: Mari Luz Vidal for Openhouse Magazine
Espai Corberó, Catalonia
Photograph: Mari Luz Vidal for Openhouse Magazine

In its current state, it probably isn’t yet ready for same sort of crowds as the Parc Güell or Picasso Museum. But here’s to hoping Barcelona (well, technically the town of Esplugues de Llobregat on the fringes of the city) will be gaining another publicly-accessible artistic masterpiece sometime soon.

Pictures courtesy of Openhouse Magazine.

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