The Vapor Aymerich, Amat i Jover

The building housing the MNACTEC is one of the finest work of modernist industrial architecture anywhere in Catalonia

The building that houses the National Museum of Science Technology of Catalonia, the Vapor Aymerich, Amat i Jover factory, is one of the finest works of industrial architecture of the Catalan modernist period. Designed by the architect Lluís Muncunill i Parellada (Sant Vicenç de Fals, 1868 - Terrassa, 1931), construction work on the factory began on Rambla d'Ègara in 1907, and it opened for business just over a year later. Known as 'el Vapor' (or 'the Steam', because it used steam to power its machinery), it covered the entire industrial wool process: spinning, weaving and finishing.

The National Museum of Science and Technology of Catalonia covers a total surface area of 26,000 m2, 11,000 m2 of which corresponds to the former rectangular shopfloor section of the Vapor Aymerich, Amat i Jover. This large hall, where the Museum’s main exhibitions are now set up, is covered by a peculiar sawtooth-shaped ceiling. The traditional straight lines of this type of roof were, however, reinterpreted by the architect, Muncunill, with 161 Catalan vaults made from flat bricks with a bell-shaped form, supported by 300 cast iron pillars, which also served as the downspouts and support for the driveshafts, the devices that transmitted power from the steam engine to all the machines in the factory.

The Vapor, Aymerich, Amat i Jover was declared a Cultural Site of National Interest ('BCIN') by the Government of Catalonia in 2019.