'The sea was cut off from people; now Barcelona has the largest beaches in the Mediterranean'

Catalan News brings back its interview with late Oriol Bohigas in 2017, 25 years on from 1992 Olympics

Barcelona's Nova Icària beach, on May 6, 2021 (by Blanca Blay)
Barcelona's Nova Icària beach, on May 6, 2021 (by Blanca Blay) / Guifré Jordan

Guifré Jordan | Barcelona

December 1, 2021 11:04 AM

The Catalan architect Oriol Bohigas passed away on Tuesday, after a long and successful life in modernizing Barcelona, with his legacy including opening the city up to the sea with the regeneration of its beaches, the Vila Olímpica (Olympic Village), and the Port Olímpic (Olympic Port).

In 2017, in order to mark the 25th anniversary of the Olympics, Catalan News made a report on the event's legacy in the city and its impact two and a half decades later.

Interviews included Oriol Bohigas, who expressed no hesitation when asked about the most important transformation: the beaches.

"The sea was cut off from the people; Barcelona had no beaches and nowadays it is the city with the biggest and best-looked after beaches in the Mediterranean," he proudly said at that time.

Bohigas recalled that the neighborhoods along the coast, especially in the northern part of the capital, "were a disaster, they had no drainage and all the dirt from citizens ended up in the sea."