SEAT is participating for the first time in the 48h Open House Barcelona festival, an initiative that aims to disseminate the city’s architectural heritage to the public by opening the doors of more than 200 unique spaces. The company, which is firmly committed to Barcelona, sponsors this event and is going to put its Zona Franca factory on display during the weekend of 26 and 27 October so people can see where the history of SEAT originated.
The canteen building, which can be visited in small groups of people with a prior reservation, was designed by César Ortiz-Echagüe, Manuel Barbero and Rafael de la Joya. This was the first one in Spain built with an innovative aluminium structure characteristic of the aviation industry. The space is shaped like a comb, creating a series of landscaped courtyards connected by pergolas that break up the monotony of classically designed mass-production facilities. The project became one of the first brand images, whereby its architectural innovation became synonymous with the company’s modernity and efficiency. Furthermore, it received the American Institute of Architecture’s Reynolds Memorial Award in 1957 from a jury chaired by Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe.
The 240 factory visitors can also admire the collection of over 200 vintage cars, which is housed in the historic Building A122, containing the brand’s first models such as the SEAT 1400 or the 600, among others. The slots for participating in the initiative, which required prior registration, were completely filled a few days before the event.