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Design & Development

Barcelona to refashion Palacio de Hielo as club museum

Images: FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona has announced it is repurposing the Palacio de Hielo ice arena as a temporary home for its club museum, adding that the facility will be used as a pilot project for the technology it plans to implement for the new museum in the revamped Spotify Camp Nou.

Work on the Palacio de Hielo, located next to the Palau Blaugrana, has already commenced and is expected to be complete by the summer, when transformation of the Camp Nou begins in earnest.

The renovation affects all the space currently occupied by the ice rink and its auxiliary areas, such as the changing rooms, and also the façade, where new accesses will be created. This temporary space will be in use until the new Camp Nou museum is inaugurated, in the 2024-25 season. At the same time, work is being conducted with Barcelona City Council and the district of Les Corts to ensure that sports and leisure activities will be able to continue at Palacio de Hielo.

The temporary museum will take up around 2,400 square metres of the facility, which opened in 1971. The current museum is a key source of revenue for Barcelona, attracting 1.8 million visitors per year before COVID-19 struck, making it the most visited museum in Catalonia.

Barcelona said: “The creation of this temporary museum responds mainly to three objectives. First, turning it into a pilot test for the implementation of the most advanced technologies and recreational activities that will be implemented in the future new Spotify Camp Nou Museum, where virtual reality, immersive activities and holograms will be put at the service of the history of the club in an entertainment-oriented environment. 

“On the other hand, we also want to create a space that becomes a technological benchmark, as well as that of modernity and innovation; and lastly, to protect as much as possible an important source of income for the club.”

For the creation of the temporary museum, the club will once again work with the Mediapro Exhibitions arm of the Mediapro agency, which carried out the renovation of the current museum in 2010.

Barcelona added: “The disappearance of the current ice rink due to remodelling works on the building implies the construction of a rink temporarily in order to continue maintaining sports (ice hockey and figure skating) and recreational activities (ice skating open to the public). 

“The club is working with the City Council and the District to be able to start the works as soon as possible and therefore be able to resume ice activities.”

Barcelona last month commenced renovation work at Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, the Spanish LaLiga football club’s temporary home for the 2023-24 season.

The club in June confirmed an agreement with Barcelona City Council to spend the 2023-24 season at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys while renovation work is carried out at the Camp Nou. Barcelona will be permitted to use the stadium between August 2023 and May 2024, with the venue set to have a capacity of 55,000 for matches played by the club.

The club used the domestic break during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar to work on the renovation of the Camp Nou, with the outer ring of the stadium being demolished. The bulk of the work will be done during the 2023-24 season.

Camp Nou’s capacity will increase from 98,000 to 105,000 as part of the Espai Barça project, which also includes the delivery of a new Palau Blaugrana arena and the wide-ranging Campus Barça development.