Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona

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Pompeu Fabra University (; ) is a university in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It is widely considered to be one of the best universities in Spain and in Europe, and was ranked 1st in scientific productivity in Spain in 2009. Founded in 1990, it is named after the Catalan philologist Pompeu Fabra. Currently (2009-10), the University offers 19 undergraduate degrees, 37 official masters, and 9 PhD programs, as well as around 60 UPF masters.

The UPF is located in three separate campuses, each associated to its own area of knowledge:

  • Social Sciences and Humanities (Ciutadella Campus);
  • Sciences and information technologies and communication (Communication Campus - Poblenou)
  • Biomedical sciences (Mar Campus).

Teaching is organized in seven faculties or schools (Humanities, Health and Life Sciences, Economics, Political and Social Sciences, Communication, Law, Translation and Interpretation), one polytechnic school. Research is organized in eight departments (Economics and Business, Law, Political and Social Sciences, Humanities, Experimental Sciences and Health, Information Technologies and Communication, Communication, Translation, Language Sciences) and four university research institutes (University Institute of Culture, Jaume Vicens i Vives University Institute of History, University Institute for Applied Linguistics, Audiovisual University Institute). The University also has four affiliated centers (International Trade Business School -ESCI-, Elisava School of Design, University School of Business Studies of the Maresme -EUM-), Mar University School of Nursing -EUIM-, two interuniversity postgraduate platforms (Barcelona Institute for International Studies -IBEI- and Barcelona Graduate School of Economics -Barcelona GSE-), as well as its own Continuing Education Institute (IDEC) complementing its range of educational facilities.

Teaching and EHEA

From the outset, Pompeu Fabra University has understood the new European Area as a big opportunity to restructure the education it offers. The University’s commitment to this model has gone beyond simply updating its syllabuses; it has placed the student at the very centre of its undergraduate, master’s and doctorate teaching model.

Research at UPF

With a view to promoting research and giving it greater international visibility, the UPF has decided on a strategy involving the creation of three science parks in its specific knowledge areas:

  • The UPF Social Sciences and Humanities Research Park (Social sciences and humanities);
  • The Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) (Biomedicine); and
  • The Barcelona Media Park (PBM) (Information and communication sciences and technologies)

The University articulates this high-level research through eight departments and four university research already mentioned. Parallel, and gradually, the UPF has also been participating in a set of institutions and centers specializing in teaching, research and transfer that have legal personality and which comprise the UPF Group. This set of institutions allows the UPF to be present in highly specialised areas of research, often in collaboration with other institutions and universities, and to offer its research teaching staff the possibility of carrying out their research in excellent conditions and facilities. Thus, in the field of research and transfer, plus the three science parks include the Municipal Institute of Medical Research (IMIM) - Hospital del Mar, Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IBE) (CSIC-UPF ), the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), the Institute of Territorial Studies (IET), the Research Centre for International Economics (CREI) and Fundació Barcelona Media (FBM).


As regards the governance of UPF, Dr. Enric Argullol served as rector from the founding until June 2001. Prior to this, he had been Commissioner for the Promotion of the New University of Catalonia (the body that took the first steps of the educational project) and president of the Management Committee. At the end of his mandate, in June 2001, the University Senate elected Dr. M. Rosa Virós i Galtier, which has led the government of the University until May 2005. Present rector is Dr. Josep Joan Moreso, who won the election which took place on May 2005 and, on February 2009, he was reelected for a second term. During these last years, the University has adapted all degrees to EHEA, deepened its research profile and postgraduate training and strengthened its international focus.


The University has buildings scattered across Barcelona, mainly between les Rambles and Marina Avenue. The most important buildings are those of Ciutadella Campus, which concentrates the largest library of the University (Dipòsit de les Aigües), Roger de Llúria, and Jaume I buildings.

Ciutadella Campus

Dipòsit de les Aigües

The Water Tower building was designed in 1874 by master of works Josep Fontserè, who took charge of the whole of the old military garrison area. A then young student of architecture, Antoni Gaudí i Cornet, did the static calculation of the tower and support elements. It was conceived as a traditional structure and the modern technique –at those times– of iron pillars was ruled out, given the huge loads that the tower had to bear together with its great height. The building dates from 1876, but it wasn’t until 1880 that it was inaugurated as a water tower, with the purpose of regulating the flow of water of Ciutadella park’s waterfall and watering its gardens. The building was listed in the IFLA book Classical Library Buildings of the World, along with other 50 libraries.

The construction is a copy of a Roman prototype comprising a labyrinth of parallel arches of 14 metres in height, which cross over in a barrel vault and extend as if by mirror effect along its 65 metres of depth. After over a hundred years of different uses –as a municipal asylum, fire service store, changing room and garage of the Municipal Police force, justice archive...–it became UPF property in 1992.

The works to renovate the Water Tower, which was joined by subway with the Jaume I building, were begun in 1993. However, it wasn’t until 1999 that it started to work as the University Central Library. Today, three quarters of the building is in working order.

The surface area of the plot is 4,558 m2, 4,320 m2 of which are occupied and a renovated surface area of 14,850 m2. The architects who undertook the work of renovating were Lluís Clotet and Ignacio Paricio.

The Water Tower (Dipòsit de les Aigües) houses the Administration Building of the renowned the Jaume Vicens i Vives University Institute of History, whose headquarters are located in this building (including Josep Fontana's private collection of books donated to the IUHJVV and the Pompeu Fabra University); as weel as the documentation centre of the Central Library includes, among others, the collections of the Haas Library, of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce.

Edifici Roger de Llúria

The Roger de Llúria building, like its neighbour the Jaume I building, was originally built and used as a military barracks. Analysis of four consecrated designs at the Jaume I barracks, plus the one corresponding to Roger de Llúria, lead us to believe that these undocumented designs are two intermediate designs between the first project, and that of colonel Rueda, of 1847, and some later adjustments, done in January 1879.

In 1868, the old military garrison was demolished and four years later, the Ciutadella park was created. In compensation, the Ministry of War required the construction of the two military barracks, Jaume I and Roger de Llúria (which were finished by 1887) and some annexed military pavilions.

The Ciutadella barracks were conceived on the basis of fixed modules, with quite elongated rectangular-shaped wings, for the ground floor and a further two storeys, with a pitched roof, organised around a porticoed rectangular patio. Over a century ago, the Ciutadella barracks introduced the characteristic shapes of the central Eixample in a suburban landscape.

The renovation works on the Roger de Llúria building began in 1997. It was inaugurated in the year 2000, and initially, Law studies moved here. The Jaume I and Roger de Llúria buildings are currently host to social sciences and humanities.

The surface area of the Roger de Llúria building plot is 8,997 m2, with a constructed surface of 5,292 m2 and a renovated surface area of 26,957 m2. The team of MBM Arquitectos, SA, Josep Maria Martorell, Oriol Bohigas and David Mackay, was commissioned to perform the renovation. This building was awarded the 2001 Ciutat de Barcelona Prize for architecture and urban planning and was a finalist at the 44th edition of the ADI-FAD prizes for architecture and interior design.

From outside, the Roger de Llúria building conserves the same rectangular proportions as the Jaume I building, but is different inside due to a ring-shaped floor that configures a central patio which is as wide as an Eixample street (80 metres). Within this area two new constructions were erected: one with a glass façade, where there are large lecture halls; and another that houses the lecturers’ offices and was built as a body suspended above the patio but is largely dysfunctional for lack of light. This latter construction has four floors and a façade which is crowned in wood and has large horizontal cuts in the windows. The patio is located at basement level and is covered by an aluminium, glass and iron cover, whose saw tooth structure allows natural light to be harnessed.

At one end of the interior patio of the Roger de Llúria building we find the Memorial in homage to the lecturers who were removed from Catalan universities at the beginning of the Franco dictatorship (1939-1940). With the creation of this memorial, UPF wished to pay homage to the nigh-on one hundred and twenty lecturers of Autonomous University of Barcelona (Pompeu Fabra among them) who, with the end of the Civil War, were relieved of their teaching charges, which, for many of them, meant setting off on the long road to exile.

The Memorial consists of a 4-metre wide circular glass box of 40 centimetres in height. The upper lid is made up of three glass laminates in the middle of which in circular form are written the names of those to whom homage is paid, and the lower cover is made of translucent glass. The names of the lecturers are successively lit up by a permanent ray of light which moves clockwise in a circular direction

Roger de Llúria holds the following Faculties, Schools and Studies: Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences, Faculty of Law, Facultay of Humanities, University School of Business Studies, University School of Labour Relations, Political and Administration Sciences Studies, Labour Sciences Studies and the Department of Law.

Communication Campus

Ca l'Aranyó is a former factory in the Sant Martí district of Barcelona which currently hosts Pompeu Fabra University's Communication Campus. Part of the city's new 22@ technology and business facilities in and around Poblenou, it's located between Avinguda Diagonal, Carrer de Tànger, Carrer Roc Boronat and Carrer Llacuna. It was officially open in January 2009. Among other special and relevant research centers, this new campus hosts the Science Communication Observatory.


The two buildings of the textile factory Ca l’Aranyó, which came into operation in 1877, were built by order of Claudi Arañó i Arañó, under the direction of Catalan master builder Joseph Marimón i Cot. One of them ("La Fàbrica"), which used to host the weaving machines, is a rectangular 30×24m² building on four levels—a ground floor topped with three storeys. The other one ("La Nau"), a longitudinal single-storey 80×9m² ship-like building with a lower ground floor, was used as a warehouse. Next to them, an imposing conical chimney made of bricks has also been preserved.

Ca l’Aranyó is the only XIXth century factory in which the metal structure imported from the UK was adapted to the Catalan vault, which was the traditional construction system during the last quarter of the nineteenth century in Catalonia. Furthermore, from an urban point of view, it was the first industrial project presented in the independent municipality of Sant Martí de Provençals that was conceived with the will to implant firmly in the alignments marked by Cerdà's 1859 Eixample Plan.

In 1948, Xavier Arañó, on behalf of Arañó i Companyia, commissioned the architect Joaquin Vilaseca with the rehabilitation of the far righthand side of the ship, and the construction of a new floor. The factory closed in 1986 and the facilities began to deteriorate, a process which came to an end with the decision of the UPF to build their Communication Campus there. With the rehabilitation of the entire Ca l’Aranyó, the UPF has managed to restore this representative example of Catalan industrial heritage.


There's a Trambesòs station called Ca l'Aranyó, served by T4. Also, it's easily accessed from the Barcelona Metro station Glòries, in Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes.

Mar Campus

Includes two main buildings: Edifici Doctor Aiguader (devoted to classes) and PRBB (devoted to research facilities).

See also

  • Institut Universitari de Cultura
  • Elisava
  • Vives Network
  • Pompeu Fabra
  • Barcelona Graduate School of Economics
  • reactable

External links

Source en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pompeu_Fabra_University