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Green light for the urban development of the research and innovation complex in the Antic Mercat del Peix

13/02/2024 - 14:45 h - Science Ajuntament de Barcelona

The Antic Mercat del Peix research and innovation complex continues to move forward. The Government Commission has definitively approved the executive project for the development of the area where it will be located, in the block between Carrer de Villena, Carrer Wellington, Carrer Trias Fargas and Avinguda d’Icària, a key area of the Ciutadella Knowledge Hub. Thus, the green light is given to the renovation of the public use space on the plot where work has been underway since January of last year on the car park and the foundations of the three new buildings that will make up l’Antic Mercat del Peix.

The Antic Mercat del Peix, which will have a built-up area of 45,000 square metres, is an initiative arising from institutional agreements between Barcelona City Council, the Catalan Government, the Spanish Government, Pompeu Fabra University, the Centro Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, the University of Barcelona, the Autonomous University of Barcelona, the Pasqual Maragall Foundation and the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park. The new site is key to the Ciutadella Knowledge Hub project and will replace obsolete spaces and facilities to become one of the great nodes of scientific knowledge, innovation, research and higher education in Europe.

The urbanisation project now approved covers an area of 9,377 m2 and aims to make it easier to walk and stay in the space occupied by the three future buildings and to improve continuity between the complex and the surrounding area, mainly the Ciutadella Park and also the Charles I Park and the Atlanta Gardens. The urbanisation works are expected to begin together with the construction of the first building (above ground) of the complex, during the first quarter of 2025, and to be ready with the completion of the last building of the complex, during the year 2027.

Thus, a series of green spaces will be created that will naturalise the current parking area by means of flowerbeds and trees, as well as creating different types of living and resting areas, humanising the public space and promoting its habitability. The elevations and slopes of the original terrain will be respected and, in terms of mobility, regular vehicle traffic will be eliminated from Calle de Villena to turn it into a quiet street with limited access to the buildings in the area and to service and emergency vehicles. In addition, new street furniture will be installed and new service, drainage, irrigation, lighting and telecommunications networks will be installed. The urbanisation project will have a budget of 3.46 million euros financed by BIST and UPF.

The three buildings of Antic Mercat del Peix

With this step, the Antic Mercat del Peix takes a new step forward in addition to the start of work on the three buildings, which have already been in progress for a year. The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST) building will be 25,000 square metres and will house researchers from five BIST centres: the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), and the Barcelona Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona).

The second building will be 7,000 square metres and will house the Centre for Research and Innovation for Planetary Wellbeing, promoted by Pompeu Fabra University. It will be a meeting point for researchers, both from the social sciences and humanities, as well as experimental sciences and innovators, who will develop interdisciplinary projects to create wellbeing for an ageing society.

Finally, the third building will be 6,000 metres and will house the headquarters of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IBE), a joint research centre created in 2008 by Pompeu Fabra University and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). The IBE will bring together all its research staff at the new headquarters in the Antiguo Mercado del Pescado, where it will consolidate and expand its research project on evolution and biodiversity.

Just below the three buildings, the municipal public company B:SM (Barcelona de Servicios Municipales) is already building and will manage a new 7,000 square metre car park that will be integrated into the public car park network. It is the first to be originally conceived as a mobility services hub and will include electric charging points, car-sharing rental services, a secure space to leave bicycles and personal mobility vehicles.