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What is L'illa Diagonal?

L'illa Diagonal, history of the shopping mall of Barcelona Diagonal

Due to its size, the complex of L'illa Diagonal was known at first as the "Superblock": the extent of the area occupied and the impact on the city resulting from the construction of the complex, required an international consultation for ideas. The final project had to combine municipal needs concerned with street layout, the creation of free space and amenities for the district of Les Corts, with the range of private construction envisaged, for commercial, hotel and office use.

Finally, the project was awarded to the architects Rafael Moneo and Manuel de Solà-Morales. The works began in 1990 and the existing buildings were demolished; on 2 December 1993 the complex was officially opened.

L'illa Diagonal complex was the first of the half dozen office and commercial centres to be opened in Barcelona in the nineties.

On November 2006 L'illa Diagonal enlarges its commercial area in 4.000m2 with 17 new shops and a new hotel with 308 rooms. Furthermore, this enlargement has enabled to open a new pedestrian entrance to the building through Deu i Mata street.

Curiosities about the shopping centre L'illa Diagonal

    •  As well as a big commercial centre with more than 170 shops and restaurants, L'illa Diagonal complex includes two four star hotels, two schools, a sports centre, dance hall, conference centre, a public park and a car parking with capacity for more than 2,400 vehicles.
    •  The building has a façade 334 metres long and its design of a skyscraper lying down was inspired by the Rockefeller Centre in New York. The height of the building varies from 40 and 60 metres at the ends to 30 metres in the middle.
    •  The whole complex of L'illa Diagonal is built on 56,000 m2 of city land, and there are 4 floors of car parking, 1 floor for installations and logistics where 250 vehicles can unload simultaneously, 3 commercial floors and up to 9 further floors of offices.
    •  The foundation stone laid at L'illa Diagonal contains a newspaper of that day (4/7/90), a silver place setting, an insurance policy and a deposit certificate.

On December 2, 1993, L'illa Diagonal complex was officially opened. The architectural project was carried out by Rafael Moneo and Manuel de Solà Morales ordered by the promoters Grup Sanahuja and Grup Winterthur (nowadays Grupo AXA).

Some technical data:

  • Commercial area: 35.000 m2
  • Number of commercial spaces: 170
  • Office area: 48.000 m2
  • Façade length: 334 m
  • Green space: 13.500 m2
  • Parking places: 2.400