Teatre Lliure
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Area: 21000 m²
Features: Theatre complex. Monolith and precast colored reinforced concrete
Client: Teatre Lliure Foundation, Fabian Putchserver
Author: Manuel Nunez Yanowsky, Elena Pawlowsky, F. Guardia
Date and phase: Project and constuction 1991-2001

"Teatre Lliure" is a homage to a friendship of two great enthusiasts of scene: Fabia Puigserver and Manuel Nunez Yanowsky, who both, after finishing the theatre school, worked together on the theatrical performances and both developed the idea of creating a new theatre. In 1975, in the period of the fascist dictate in Spain, Fabia Puigserver founded a company "Teatre lliure" which was a protest to the existing regime. This company performed the plays in Catalan.  In 1980 he had ordered to his friend architect Manuel Nunez Yanowsky a project of the theatre, which was realized many years later in 2001, after the death of Fabia Puigserver. Thus, one of the most contemporary of world’s theatres in sense of theatrical technologies, is the synthesis of the theatrical ideas of two maestros, talently implemented in architecture of the Theatre Complex "Teatre Lliure" by Manuel Nunez Yanowsky. 

The most contemporary European theatre complex is situated in Barcelona’s Acropolis – Montjuic. It is example of successful reconstruction of the historical monument - Palau de l’Agricultura, which was built for the International Exhibition in 1929. Work began in March 1996, with funding from the Ministry of Culture, the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Ajutament de Barcelona and Diputacio de Barcelona.

Manuel Nunez Yanowsky used structures of the two existing buildings of Palau de l’Agricultura to house the new functions: one of the buildings contains foyer, restaurants, administration, library, press-conference rooms, etc. The other building structure was used to place the contemporary theatrical hall and repetition hall.  Teatre Lliure theatrical hall has a total of 64 platforms that permit a very large number of different configurations and maximum of 800 seats. It is intended for big classical theatre productions. The Espai Lliure, with its Greek cross plan, and maximum capacity of 175 seats, is to be used for research into theatrical methods, lectures, dance or musical theatre on a more intimate scale. Finally, the Lliure de Gracia is to be used for contemporary drama, dance, music and musical theatre. The complex also includes foyers, dressing rooms, rehearsal, a library and a lecture space.

The existing structure was partly reconstructed, with its original beautiful frescos on the walls, and partly rebuilt to place the new theatrical hall with all the equipment. The new walls are made of monolith colored reinforced concrete, with the precast colored concrete façade elements, reproducing the original façade elements of the Palau de l’Agricultura.

In 2003 – Manuel Nunez Yanowsky was awarded Medal for the best theater building on the Prague Triennale (Czech Republic).

Publications and reviews:
Новый проект одессита в Барселоне
El Lliure comienza a caminar hacia Les Arenes
El Teatre Lliure estrenara su nueva sede del Palau de l'Agricultura en 1993