Art, history and beauty is what you can appreciate on the ground in Barcelona. This expression of outdoor art can be enjoyed in the mosaics, tiles and flagstones that have become over time true icons of the city.
You only need to take a walk to discover fantastic stories between one step and the next. Details, color, taste, design claim all eyes as you walk through the city. Hydraulic tiles of various shapes, mosaics, pieces of artists who have made the floor of Barcelona their ideal canvas to express their creativity.
Barcelona at ground level
Researcher Danae Esparza, PhD in Public Space and Urban Regeneration in her book “Barcelona at ground level” (Ediciones UB, 2018), has allowed us to discover unique designs and a lot of history.
One of the findings to highlight is the case of the City Hall that in 1906 called a public contest to choose five tile designs. The ones that won on that occasion are the most popular today as the case of the flower.
The book highlights several types of flooring: Gaudí’ s historic hexagonal design that you can see on Passeig de Gràcia, decorated with starfish, fossils and seaweed (manufactured by the Barcelona-based Escofet). The design of the “B” for Barcelona installed in 2008 on a stretch of Ganduxer street or the slippery relief tile of banana leaves on the Diagonal.
Get to know the art on the ground in Barcelona
In addition to the places already described, there are other emblematic sites in the city that are examples of the beauty and good design captured in mosaics and tiles. Here are some of them so you can recognize them as you walk.
La Rambla and the mosaic by Joan Miró
In 1968, in addition to a mural for the new airport, Miró made two more works: one of them is the sculpture ‘Dona i ocell’ in the Joan Miró park and the other is the ‘Paviment Miró’ that decorates the well-known street of La Rambla at Pla de l’Os de la Boqueria.
Miró wanted the “Paviment Miró” not to be protected as a museum piece, but to be left free to be walked on by the thousands of passers-by on the Rambla who pass by it every day.
Casa Amatller mosaic
Created by the artist Mario Maragliano around 1900. Composed of wavy borders, rectangular stone tesserae and floral motifs. Beautiful mosaic that adorns the landscape and the ground of Barcelona.
Alexandre Riquer Hall Pavement
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Escofet pavement company made the floor of the Alexandre Riquer Hall on the second floor, integrating ochers, oranges and greens.