The Art Factories programme is based on transforming disused spaces into new powerhouses of culture and knowledge. The goal is to put creativity, knowledge and innovation at the heart of the city’s policies.

Launched by Barcelona City Council’s Culture Institute, the project meets a longstanding demand by creators and collectives for spaces equipped for artistic creation and research.

The Art Factories are therefore ideal spaces for cultural innovation and production. The end goal is to see culture as one of the city’s strategic assets as it develops its economic, social and urban aspects, as well as boosting its inhabitants’ creativity. Creativity here should be understood in its broadest possible sense, embracing artistic skills, intellectual exchange, critical thought, research, and leisure and fun-based initiatives.

In addition, the Art Factories also aim to offer young creators the opportunity to take their first steps towards honing their skills on the path towards professionalisation.


This living network of municipally owned facilities welcomes new spaces as members. It currently comprises:

• Spaces with a strong history of support from the city’s art collectives. Their membership backs initiatives that have helped and promoted creators for many years: Ateneu Popular 9 Barris, Hangar and Nau Ivanow.

• New facilities run by agents and institutions representing different artistic areas: La Central del Circ, Graner, La Seca and La Escocesa, for example.

• One 100% municipally run factory, Fabra i Coats, set up as the central hub of the project.


Barcelona Art Factories is an integrating programme that works by joining forces and forging ties – a new model of management that eschews the usual trend of government administrations to create uniform, standard management networks. It works directly with the different groups that run the facilities, who are the ones that really shape and structure the project and make it grow.

Barcelona City Council’s Culture Institute has signed specific collaboration agreements to run each facility in keeping with the different character of each centre, the artistic disciplines covered and the collectives working there.

All this has only been possible following the major process to design and fit out these spaces: in total over 30,000 m2 have been given over entirely to support artistic and cultural creation and production.


The project can be explained through five key interlocking pillars that underpin its conceptual identity and, as part of a single strategy, cannot be understood in isolation.

• Quality. The project strives to achieve the maximum possible quality in the work carried out in the factories, as well as ensure a rigorous and professional approach by all concerned.

• Professional networks. The factories should be agents with links to other professional networks (educational, social, business, academic) and should thus foster the development of new initiatives.

• Multidisciplinarity. The design of the project itself calls implicitly for multiple languages, disciplines and contributions and therefore offers an open vision and the necessary flexibility to foster creativity.

• Internationalisation. The factories will only be powerhouses for local development if they put forward projects on international circuits and promote strategic positioning and projection of a unique identity, vision and hallmark.

• Hybrid management between the public and private sectors. Any sustainable project calls for hybrid management and shared ties between the public and private sectors, where everyone plays their respective role.

This project brings creativity, innovation and culture together to enrich the city and make it a cohesive whole as they give it impetus in two directions: outwards and forwards.