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Abraham Ecumenical Centre in Barcelona by Josep Benedito and Agusti Mateos

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Now a Christian space, this building was originally for multiple faiths brought together by the 1992 Olympics

Read the Multifaith typology here

The Olympic Games brings together people from all over the world and, hence, adherents of many different faiths. This raises a challenge for host nations, which must find ways of accommodating a wide range of religious demands on site. For the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, a dedicated building was constructed for this purpose for the first time in the history of the Games. It was named after the ‘father’ of three religions – Christianity, Islam and Judaism – and comprised separate spaces to allow for simultaneous use by multiple groups. The project was administered by the local diocese, rather than the Olympic administration and, as such, since the Games ended it has been converted to exclusively Christian use – a change signified by the installation of crosses on the facade. The plan of the building is vaguely piscine in character, a response to Gehry’s famous sculpture but also, of course, a Christian symbol.

Abraham  Ecumenical Centre  Barcelona  spain3

Abraham Ecumenical Centre Barcelona spain3

Abraham ecumenical centre barcelona spain

Abraham ecumenical centre barcelona spain

Floor plans