España Telefonica Building, Plaça de Catalunya (Barcelona Olympic Games)

Edificio de Telefónica, Portal de l'Àngel, Plaza de Cataluña, Barri Gotic, Barcelona, Spain


"In collaboration with the Centre del Vidre de Barcelona. A four-sided internally lit tower at the top of the 19th century building in central Barcelona, the headquarters of the Spanish telephone company. Commissioned to celebrate the 1992 Olympiad." – from the 1993 exhibition catalogue Brian Clarke: Designs on Architecture.

The artworks, located in the lantern of the historic Telephone Exchange Building in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter, comprise a total of 484 square feet of mouthblown and leaded stained glass. These windows were fabricated by students at the Centre del Vidre, where Clarke was Visiting Professor. A substantial, related stained glass artwork was also made for the three-light lunette above the historical building's main entrance on Plaça de Catalunya, but was removed in 2013, presumed lost.

Commissioned to create a work to celebrate the Olympic Games being held in the city, Brian says: "I made these four stained glass windows on the top of España Telefónica, at the top of the Ramblas in Barcelona. The nighttime expression of these works is as significant to me as the daytime one. The fact is that anything that glows, anything that actually has the appearance of containing and holding light is irresistible to me. Whether that is a glow-worm, whether it is a Belisha beacon – whether it is a lighthouse."