A hub of interdisciplinary research and innovation at the Antic Mercat del Peix

The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), along with the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) and the Spanish National Research Council (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones – CSIC), will create a new research and innovation complex at the Antic Mercat del Peix in Barcelona, focused on biomedicine, biodiversity, and planetary well-being.

Situated on a piece of land near the Parc de la Ciutadella, the site of the project gets its name from the old Barcelona Fish Market, which stood there until just a few years ago. The Antic Mercat del Peix project is the first discernable activity within the “Ciutadella del Coneixement” initiative, which includes scientific, cultural, and urban planning pillars. The initiative, which is led by the Barcelona City Council (Ayuntamiento de Barcelona) and UPF, together with the Generalitat de Catalunya, and with the support of the Spanish Government’s 2030 Agenda, aims to turn the Parc de la Ciutadella area in the centre of Barcelona ​​into a hub of reference for urban knowledge in southern Europe.

The Antic Mercat del Peix project will promote interdisciplinary research and innovation in the fields of biomedicine, biology, economics, political and social sciences, law, the humanities, and technology. It will reinforce the wide range of scientific, educational, and cultural institutions already present in the Ciutadella area, and will allow them to unify objectives related to the most important and urgent needs of our planet.

New buildings

The Antic Mercat del Peix complex will host three new buildings over an area of 7,500 square meters, destined respectively for the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, the Pompeu Fabra University, and the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IBE-CSIC-UPF). The complex will also have an underground car park, to be managed by the public company Barcelona Serveis Municipals (B:SM). The research complex that will be developed at the Antic Mercat del Peix is part of the Special Urban Development and Urban Improvement Plan (PEUMU) of the area promoted by UPF.

The new BIST building, which will have about ​​25,000 square meters of capacity in various levels, will allow us to create synergies among the BIST centres, providing our research groups with adequate space to create a world-class hub in precision medicine.

In July 2020, BIST launched a competition for the selection of a technical team that will draw up the basic project and the construction project of its building to carry out the Antic Mercat del Peix project. All buildings in the complex must be adapted to the needs of current research, and aspire to become an architectural landmark, in the same way as the Francis Crick Institute in London or the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science in Melbourne. They must have the latest technologies to minimise pollution, both acoustic and environmental, and must guarantee sustainable management of water, waste, energy, and the mobility of their occupants. The objective is to go beyond sustainable buildings, attaining regenerative buildings, as an example to which a respectful city that is in touch with the environment should aspire.

In October 2020, BIST announced the five teams selected in the 1st phase of the competition: Barozzi Veiga (Barcelona), Pich-Aguilera / 2BMFG Arquitectes / JG Ingenieros (Barcelona), Moneo Brock / Baas / Casasolo (Madrid / Barcelona), BIG + IDOM (Denmark / Spain), and Woods Bagot (Australia). [More information]

The report of the Jury regarding the evaluation and selection of architecture teams during the first phase of the international competition organised by the Barcelona Institute for Sciences and Technology (BIST) is considered part of the Jury’s internal deliberation process. As such, and according to the conditions that regulate the competition, the report will not be made public.

The BIST fully trusts the decision criteria used by the Jury, made up of independent professionals, to select the teams invited to participate in the second phase of the competition. This selection was accepted by the BIST and announced on October 20, 2020.

In July 2021, BIST announced the winner of the competition: Barozzi Veiga. The studio was chosen for the uniqueness of the planned building, characterised by its volume and defining eaves, the interior layout, and its solutions in response to environmental requirements. [More information]

The construction of the BIST building in the Antic Mercat del Peix is co-financed by the Generalitat’s Department of Research and Universities within the framework of the EMC/954/2019 call, dated April 9th. This call aims to implement exceptional institutional projects that generate excellent research, attract talent, and develop knowledge transfer and valorisation by means of constructing, acquiring, refurbishing, or substantially extending buildings for the purpose of housing R&D infrastructures.

BIST centres

Institutional Members of the Board of Trustees