If you love mountains, beach, and urban buzz, this usually means three separate trips. Well, not necessarily: In Barcelona, you can have it all. Powered by the brand new smart fortwo, we explore the Catalan capital and meet five creative minds who have found their own, ingenious solutions to specific urban challenges.
Weaving in and out of traffic on splendid avenidas or slinking through the narrow carrers of Barrio Gótico, ascending to the top of Montjuïc or rushing towards the Mediterranean: Barcelona’s sheer variety of landscapes, urban features, and different flairs and flavors never stops to surprise and delight. A variety that requires an equally versatile mode of transport: the joyful and nimble new smart fortwo.
Although the journey – or pure joy of driving – is certainly its own reward, there is far more to our city trip. Barcelona excels at creativity and innovation. And boasts a very rare quality: Here, designers, architects, hoteliers, and engineers have become expert at blending and juxtaposing interior and exterior, indoor themes and outdoor activities. A touch of sand clings to everyone’s shoes to spice up urban life and its creations.
Take industrial designer Marc Morro whose “Manolito” bench took pride of place at the Spanish Pavilion of the Architecture Biennale 2014. Together with his friend Clara Quintana he now runs the AOO shop – and the store’s undisputed bestseller is a versatile deck chair for terrace, balcony, and beach use.
Then, there is eco hotelier Petz Scholtus. Her eco-friendly and stylish apartments, Yök Casa + Cultura, supplement Barcelona’s buzzing tourist landscape with a welcome sustainable option and stunning roof top access.
Confession time: We almost temporarily traded in our smart … for an hour in the saddle. At BamBamboo Bikes Barcelona, an enthusiastic designer/engineer couple, Mariona Martinez and Marc Navarra, constructs mountain bike and fixie frames from 100 % bamboo.
For a more immersive peek at our Barcelona picks, check out the short film “One fine day in Barcelona,” featuring all the above highlights and more.
Photos & camera: Lars Borges
Cut: Nina Stangl for Firsteight Berlin
Music: Miguel B – Miramar