Global fashion apparels are taking over architectural buildings of Barcelona!

It has been reported that number of several fashion brands companies are replacing some of the architectural buildings of Barcelona. A recent occurrence happened in Gothic, just over a month ago, where the global economic apparel, Teddy, newly launched a flagship store of five-stories high in the Cucurulla Square.

The palace Castell de Pons is also another historic building that has been taken over by the fashion industry, as it has gone through renovations to become the house of two iconic businesses: the Fargas chocolate factory and the Monge philately.

Though, in recent times, historical landmarks used to be converted into hotels, they are now turned into fashion stores instead; such as Plaza Catalunya, where, the new superstore Zara has established in the corner of Bergara Street, becoming a rising fashion landmark trend on Instagram.
Another current renovation is 
H&M, as it’s finalising the remaining operations of one of its chain store located in the Life Building, one of the fanciest corners of Passeig de Gràcia.


Zara in Plaça Catalunya

“These brands need large spaces in very specific parts to be able to open stores as it is part of a strategic role, which also improve the whole brand,” says Monica Manguillot, director of the real estate company Busquets Gálvez; And the buildings in Barcelona are rather small. ” The ranking of ways to monetise the country is headed by hotel users, and commercials. “These are buildings that allow us to project a very special brand image, but very few can cope with the costs of renting, adapting and maintaining such large protected estates. The procedures are longer, the works are more complicated, the costs are higher etc “.

The council officer of Architecture and Urban Landscapes, Daniel Mòdol, has honored these trends. “It is good news that the City Council will not be the only one to invest on the protection of the heritage. For years the Council’s protection was solely the only one to invest on these buildings, for the purpose to preserve the heritage of the city. We came from a time when the only way to preserve certain estates was to open hotels. We have to combine public leadership with private sensibility.”

Nowadays, one of the few things that can be opened in districts such as Ciutat Vella are retail stores. This process, however, is difficult and takes a long time to develop. Roberto Pimpinelli, head of development in Spain that was in charge of Teddy’s constructions in Castell de Pons, admitted that the process lasted three years. The procedure of installing escalators and elevators in the building while respecting protected elements in the surrounding proved to be challenging to the engineers. Pimpinelli further said “We try to adapt to the internal plan. The result turned out beautiful rather than commercial. Administrations should further support these initiatives. In many cities you see historical buildings that slowly degrade”. This shows that private sensibility does not necessary have to be moved only by the love of arts.


Massimo Dutti’s Store: modernist elements in the house lived by Painter Ramon Casas

Terri Gerard Marcet, investment advisor of Laborde Marcet, quoted “What big brands look for are large-sized spaces in privileged areas”. This is used to optimise their resources, increase their image, and try to differentiate from others; the market in fact is responding positively to this. However, the rising problem to this is the fact that the amount of large spaces in Barcelona’s iconic districts are scarce as, some are used by hotels. Owners of several shops in Passeig de Gràcia are uniting to offer a large space for global branded retails as, stated by Marcet ” Big brands are willing to pay an extra price.”

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