DHub Barcelona is Barcelona’s design centre, where the various disciplines that shape design merge and are brought together in one central hub under the aim of teaching and promoting the positive uses design offers for improving our lives.
Hub is an English term commonly used in the world of communications. In air transport, the word takes on a very graphic meaning: a transport model drafted in relation to a centre, in a form resembling that of spokes on a bicycle wheel, with various spokes meeting at the same point. It can likewise be used in IT, in reference to a port or centre where various connections meet. It was this technical definition, used metaphorically, that inspired the name Barcelona Design Hub.
The Hub will redistribute, organise and optimise the potential of the networks that currently make up the world of design. In addition, it will become an institutions centre, a creation laboratory and will also house the Museu de les Arts Decoratives (Museum of Decorative Arts), the Museu Tèxtil i d’Indumentària (Museum of Textile and Clothing) and the Gabinet de les Arts Gràfiques (Cabinet of Graphic Arts).
Oriol Bohigas is the architect commissioned to design this curious building, a large part of which is to be constructed below Plaça de les Glòries and to adapt the current site, the novelty to the design being the consideration given to resources and keeping excavating work to a minimum. The building will feature three upper floors and a mezzanine. The spaces will house the main exhibition hall, rooms for supplies, research and teaching, a documentation centre and other venues accommodating large numbers of people. Natural lighting and a relationship with the outside world will be ensured by taking advantage of the change in ground level between Plaça de les Glòries and Poblenou, with a large lake as a main attraction. Where the building rises above ground level, this will be a large projection over the square and house temporary exhibition halls, an assembly hall, a foyer and a terrace.
Two prestigious pieces from Santa & Cole´s urban catalogue have been chosen for the outdoor area: Gonzalo Milá´s Rama LED streetlamp, with its simple lines and high energy efficiency, and the aluminium version of the NeoRomántico Liviano bench, which holds the first Cradle to Cradle environmental certificate and was designed by Miguel Milá, Gonzalo´s father and one of the most lauded Spanish design pioneers. Both the bench and the streetlamp won FAD awards when they were released and are part of the Design Museum collection.