Top Design Cities 2019: Barcelona, Spain

Architect Benedetta Tagliabue, a force in Barcelona’s design scene for decades who has watched the city evolve, gives us her perfect itinerary.

Since she moved to the city’s old town in the pre-gentrification 1990s‚ Italian-born architect Benedetta Tagliabue of EMBT has watched Barcelona’s design community navigate between respecting tradition and forging a new path. "What I like about Barcelona is that it created itself through its capacity for design and architecture‚" she says. "And I feel like it’s the same now as it has been for centuries, even if the shapes have changed and the style is more contemporary. There’s a consciousness about doing things that are simple‚ made with real materials‚ and very well built."

Top Design Cities 2019: Barcelona, Spain - Photo 1 of 5 -

Case in point: her studio’s latest project‚ Kálida Sant Pau Centre‚ a sensory "refuge" for cancer patients being treated in the adjoining hospital. "It’s where they can take a moment to themselves to breathe‚" Tagliabue says. "It’s an escape from the hospital to a secret place that’s full of beauty."

Benedetta Tagliabue’s Perfect Day in Barcelona

Federal Cafe

Federal Cafe

Tagliabue’s favorite place to start her day is at the minimalist‚ sundrenched Federal cafe‚ just next door to the EMBT office.



For lunch‚ she recommends Italian restaurant Cecconi’s‚ which she proclaims "has the best burrata in the world."



For both local and international design‚ Tagliabue suggests perusing the goods at Samtida‚ in the city’s gothic quarter.

Galeria Carles Taché

Galeria Carles Taché

Continue your cultural jaunt at Galeria Carles Taché‚ tucked away near Plaça d’Espanya. "At first it feels like you’re entering the interior of a private house‚" she says. "And then you find that you’re in one of the most beautiful galleries in Barcelona."

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