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Betahaus Creative beast

Two heads are better than one; that’s the idea of Betahaus. The more brainpower in one space the better. Originating in Berlin, this innovative work area and community for creative professionals and entrepreneurs is the new big thing happening all over the globe, where creativity and ideas can be shared and explored. Barcelona’s Betahaus is home to 132 members, 38 start-up companies and 97 freelancers. Talk about an impressive résumé.

This private club is a 2000 square meter workplace and event space that is made up of a funky café, private rooms, larger communal work areas, and terraces—so you can get some work done while also getting your tan on, lounging in the sun. With all that space there’s also room for workshops, launch parties and a bunch of cultural events. Although this all may sound dandy, pump the breaks. In order to get one of their exclusive memberships you need to pass the interview process before being deemed Betahaus worthy. If you do get selected to join the club you also have special benefits at the other locations in places like Copenhagen and Vienna, and soon New York City. Betahaus is one full house of tech savvy, aspiring individuals from all over the world.

Cosmo Gallery Hungry aesthetes

Art may feed thought, but it won’t feed your stomach. Cosmo Gallery gracefully takes care of both concerns in a neatly designed part-café, part-gallery space. Delectable edibles bookend art immersion, and the cafe’s laid-back sofa-sphere make for a cozy spot to down the simple fare at Cosmo, such as hummus and guacamole, manchego cheese and Ibérico ham, fresh juices and weekend mojitos. And with your belly sated and head bedeviled by strong drink, soaking up the sumptuous visual art in the gallery will be a cinch. Cosmo’s curation includes a mixture of contemporary graphic-art and works by emerging newcomers, creating a meeting point for young artists looking to showcase their work in a professional environment.

Located right next to the university in a youthful, comfortable district of Barcelona, the friendly, neighborhood vibe of Cosmo reflects the community to which it belongs. Cosmo arranges art and education opportunities, while hosting regular concerts and pop-up stores in the gallery space.

Antidoto28 Studio and shop

Antidoto28 is a design studio, art gallery and shop run by graphic designer and DJ Carlos David Canillas, aptly located in the ever-cool district of Raval. In this creative space there is a showroom displaying work done in their studio from graphic design to hand made prints to paintings. In the studio they offer a program of workshop sessions for the public to try their hand at silk-screen printing and create their own designs. They sell a collection of hand-made limited edition t-shirts, sweaters, tote bags and other accessories in their shop.

Ángels Barcelona Art with a pinch of salt

Ángels Barcelona focuses on artistic proposals that originate from a certain form of skepticism.

The exhibition program is composed of works based on practices that criticize the artistic medium, the representation of reality and the languages that codify our society through the art world and the media.

Through such works the observer is invited to construct dialogues between the artists—including Michael Snow and Richard T. Walker —and their chosen medium.

Parque Central de Poblenou Shadowplay in the garden of light

The idea, according to French architect Nouvel, is that Parque Central de Poblenou is a playground for the sun in Winter, and in Spring and Summer becomes the site of intricate shadow-play. The true inauguration for this architectural wonder is expected to occur sometime in the next five years when the trees and vegetation have grown enough to create the intense play of light and shadow that its designer intended.

The park was designed with environmental-friendly criteria. The irrigation system stretches from a tank that collects groundwater. In addition, weeping willow is the dominant plant species—a tree whose four-meter deep roots easily soak up surface water.

On the second of two islands in the park, trees envelope the former factory of Oliva Artés. Along with these archeological remains, nine shrubbery and various herbs lead visitors on a beautifully visual and scented tour. Around the same space, take in the spectacular views from a structure symbolic of another French architect, Dominique Perrault, who built a 36 floor hotel in the same Avenida Diagonal.

In the park’s third area, dominated by rich purples, the most prominent feature is a crater which spirals toward the “center of the earth”, and by way of telematics connects with the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil. Talk about a walk in the park that takes you to new, distant places.

MNAC High art placed high up

MNAC’s setting could hardly be more grand; the Palau Nacional, built in three years and opened in 1929, overlooks Barcelona from atop Montjuic mountain. Montjuic is also home to countless other attractions, including the Fundació Joan Miró, Museu d’Arqueologia and Olympic complex. Approaching it, you will commonly encounter people spilling out of large business conferences and temporary art exhibitions. Yet you’ll also find yourself facing the wonderful fountains, which erupt each evening in a spectacular light show along with a view that is just as breathtaking as in the daytime.

The museum itself houses the principal collection of Catalan art in Barcelona, spanning the Roman, Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance periods through the first half of the 20th century. The Palau Nacional would be worth seeing even without the accompanying interior splendor, but the full package makes the MNAC an indispensable experience.

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