What we do

The CCCB is a space for creation, research, exhibition and debate on contemporary culture where visual arts, literature, philosophy, film, music, transmedia activity and the performing arts are interconnected in an interdisciplinary programme.

An introduction to the CCCB

The CCCB centres its activity around creative research and the production of knowledge through a series of central projects produced in-house, such as thematic exhibitions, and other live events and digital formats: international debates, the CCCB Lab, the literature platform Kosmopolis, the Beta line of activities: projects that approach the culture of the 21st century in an integrated way along with the major transformations of the digital era; the Xcèntric experimental film festival, the European Prize for Urban Public Space, the Cultural Innovation International Prize, the CCCB Archive platform and other associated proposals and festivals.

The CCCB works in a network with international institutions and agents, and is linked at the same time to artists, creators’ groups, curators and independent cultural agents from the Barcelona area, supporting their proposals to participate in their creative capital and give them visibility.

The CCCB researches new educational proposals, works on knowledge and production formats under constant critical review, and seeks methodologies based on collaboration and experimentation that materialise as open invitations for submissions and processes of dynamic promotion and mediation.

Our objectives

  • To take on board the complexity, intensity and creativity of a historic point in time where old certainties are dissolving and new paradigms require imagination and maximum openness.
  • To favour open, free and plural debate on the ideas that define our current imaginary as an information and knowledge society.
  • To rethink common values, the public space, the new forums where the present and future of civil society are being debated.
  • To prioritize themes that allow an answer to be offered to the crucial questions of a hyper-complex, contaminated and infoxicated world.
  • To establish bridges between sciences and humanities to activate the development of a third culture in all of its diverse styles and manifestations.
  • To develop projects that offer an integrated approach to the culture of the 21st century and the great transformations of the digital age.
  • To create spaces for debate on the different ways of conceiving ecological models and the concept of sustainable development.
  • Stimulate the reconciliation of a culture of diagnostics with a culture of solutions.
  • To create platforms for dialogue between academics, experts and professionals with creative groups and communities from the third sector.
  • To promote the creation of distributed cultural networks where cooperation substitutes individual competencies and individual intelligence is conceived as an essential condition for collective intelligence.
  • To cater for the needs of new audiences and new creative communities.
  • To develop educational programmes to dissolve existing gaps.
  • To experiment with new genres and formats, without overlooking the renewal / validity of traditional genres and formats.
  • To facilitate cross-contamination between different artistic disciplines.
  • To contribute to the renewal of the ideas and the languages that we use to create the world and project the future.
  • To stimulate innovation, creativity and inventive capacity as essential tools for the emergence of a new culture.
  • To revitalise the public function of culture as a right and as an essential basic commodity.

Our history

The Casa de Caritat (Almshouse)

The CCCB is located in a spot with a long history: the site of a 17th century church that became the monastery of Montalegre in the 13th century and a Jesuit seminary in the 16th century. In the 18th century, a military barracks and correctional facility was installed there. Finally, in the year 1802, King Charles IV of Spain authorised the creation of a charitable establishment, the Casa de Caritat (Almshouse) to provide shelter for the most disadvantaged members of society. Over time, the Casa de Caritat came to fund itself and it obtained income from very diverse sources. It organised prize draws, masquerade balls, and bullfights. It also produced basic essentials: biscuits, needles, fabrics, noodles, rope sandals, cotton, clothing, et cetera. Its most profitable activities prominently included the municipal concession of the funeral service in 1838 and, especially, the creation of one of the city’s most important printing presses. This self-funding system was achieved by the teaching of specialised trades (carpentry, blacksmithery, printing, shoemaking, etc.) within the Almshouse itself.

In the year 1868, responsibility for the establishment was transferred to the Provincial Council of Barcelona (Diputació), as a result of the Public Charity Law of 1853. In contrast, during the short period of the Republican Generalitat (1932-1936), the Casa de Caritat was the exclusive responsibility of the Catalan government; in that period significant improvements were made, especially in the treatment of inmates and the secularisation of the teaching staff. The Casa de Caritat ceased to function in the year 1957 with the move to and inauguration of new premises in the Vall d’Hebron district (Llars Mundet).

In 2016, the CCCB and the Xarxa Audiovisual Local (Diputació de Barcelona) in collaboration with BATABAT produce the documentary Temps de caritat. The film evokes the childhood of the people who lived in la Casa de la Caritat de Barcelona. Nowadays, they meet every Thursday at the CCCB bar.

The creation of the CCCB

In 1989, the Consortium formed by the Diputació de Barcelona and Ajuntament de Barcelona approved the creation of the CCCB, within the context of a project for the rehabilitation of the Raval neighbourhood and its historical buildings, and with the intention of housing a complex for contemporary culture in the former Casa de Caritat.

The Centre’s management commissioned architects Helio Piñón and Albert Viaplana, with the collaboration of Eduard Mercader, with the construction project for the cultural facility. Building work began in 1991 and the CCCB was officially inaugurated on 24 February 1994 under the directorship of Josep Ramoneda, who was at the helm of the Centre from 1989 until 2011, when he was succeeded by Marçal Sintes. Since 15 November 2014, the post of General Director has been occupied by Vicenç Villatoro.

The former Casa de Caritat premises occupied an enormous maze of constructions built in different eras, coming to house over two thousand people. Today the CCCB occupies the original structure of three wings arranged in a U-shape around a large central courtyard: the Pati de les Dones, and the building that housed the former theatre of the Casa de Caritat, on what is today the Plaça Joan Corominas.

The remodelling project began in the year 1991 and substituted the northern wing with a rectangular block measuring thirty metres high: a glass façade that has become a mirror of the urban landscape and a lookout point over the city. The external façade on Carrer de Montalegre and those of the courtyard, conserve the decoration of sgraffiti and majolica applications added in the years 1926-1929. As for the construction elements characteristic of the original buildings, also preserved are the brich vaults and the stone pillars. The building covers a total floor area of 15,000 m2 according to the project design implemented by architects Helio Piñón and Albert Viaplana, which was rewarded with the FAD and the Ciutat de Barcelona Architecture prizes in the year 1993.

In 2011, the CCCB incorporated a new building, the Teatre CCCB, the former Casa de Caritat theatre, refurbished by architects Elías Torres and Martínez Lapeña. With the Theatre, the CCCB gained a space measuring 3,164 m2 which means that the Centre’s programming can continue to be executed under improved conditions. This new venue includes the Sala Teatre, a multi-purpose hall with an audience capacity of 500 people, and the Sala Raval, with capacity for 170 people.