According to Greek mythology, Polyphemus was a bearded, one-eyed giant who fell in love with nereid Galatea. Ohla hotel, however, appears punctured by a thousand of intriguing as well as eloquent porcelain eyes which seem to writhe and spin round to better take pleasure in the majestic beauty of Barcelona, stretching at its feet.
The project was accomplished in 2011. Built in the 1920s and listed as Neoclassic, it was completely refurbished and converted into a 5 star hotel boutique hotel. But there is more to it. They proceeded also to the makeover of the old dividing wall facing the carrer Comptal to create a new façade and a square, thus solving the problem of the wasted space caused by the opening of Via Laietana in 1907.
Although the historic façade, in a French style, was strictly respected, the architects applied a cutting-edge solution for the new façade: a smooth, anthracite stucco wall that tried to stitch in some way the wound caused by Via Laietana in the heart of the old town. Unified thanks to the windows and the singular sculptures shaped as eyes, the old and the new façade engage in a fluid dialogue that builds bridges between two different historic and artistic periods and allows for a peaceful coexistence of styles.
The hotel rooftop, crowned by a magnificent two-story loggia with a dome, has a glass swimming pool, surrounded by designer deck chairs and chill-out sofas. Recently, some pieces of the Lapala collection by Lievore Altherr Molina were added to this space: the bar stools leaning out the balustrade and the armchairs around the tables where it is possible to have à la carte breakfast or savour a cocktail while enjoying the sunset over the ancient roofs of the Gòtic district. Thanks to its altitude and the absence of visual obstacles, the rooftop becomes an exceptional lookout from where it is possible to make out the unmistakable profile of the Tibidabo with the Gothic Revival towers of the Sacred Heart church silhouetted against the big blue sky and by its side, the futuristic aerial erected by Foster at the top of the neighbouring Collserola. Perhaps that is why Ohla’s mysterious eyes are never shut, mesmerized by the endless spectacle.