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 MNACTEC building, formerly the Vapor Aymerich, Amat i Jover factory, is one of the finest industrial architectural works of the Catalan modernist movement. 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. The Vapor (the name given to the factory because of the steam engines that provided its power), covered the entire industrial process of wool transformation, from the delivery of the fleeces to the finished textiles exiting the factory gate.

The National Museum of Science and Technology of Catalonia covers a total surface area of 22,200 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.