Hang on, air cushions? Indeed. Media-TIC’s 2.500 m2 facade is covered in so-called ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene), an innovative, visually stunning, and recently certified construction material that helps to cut the building’s environmental bill by 20 % of energy and 114 tons of CO2 every year. Eco-efficient to the (empty) core, these translucent cushions fill with air in line with levels of light during the day, creating a spell-binding sight at night by turning the building into an enormous jellyfish. Other highlights of intelligent architecture include net-like, supporting steel bars found mostly outside of the cube structure to underscore the clear and uncluttered Media-TIC philosophy.

A paragon of sustainable architecture, Media-TIC opened its doors for the very first time in September 2010 thanks to Cloud-9 studio’s efforts under Catalan architect Enric Ruiz-Geli. Situated in Poblenou, it now serves as the technical outlet of the public organization and district 22@Barcelona, the city’s meeting point for professionals. Thanks to its huge spectrum of offers for tech-related entrepreneurs, it has become a veritable playground for ambitious businesses from the realm of audio-visual, digital productions and other media-related fields who seeking funding, services, and incubator processes, among others. Foreign companies are attracted by so-called landing programs designed to help them settle in Barcelona. Add multiple conference rooms, workshop spaces, and many other multi-use areas and you get a fertile proving ground for shared ideas, spontaneous cooperations, and the exchange of expertise – all over a cup of coffee.

Google was among the many companies to benefit from Media-TIC’s resources, as were some Spanish universities with a tech focus who could put their projects into practice. Building on this experience, the Media-TIC’s top three floors, covering a total of 5,000 m2, will soon house the Open University of Barcelona (UOC) as well as the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3), the eLearn Center and the Barcelona Digital Technological Center. While the ground floor remains under construction, the green jellyfish welcomes a great number of visitors with open spaces and innovative touches that, once again, boost communication, exchange, and seamless interactions between people and companies.

Text: Bea Salas (lamono magazine)
Pictures: Maud Sophie Andrieux (lamono magazine)

Header image: lamono magazine