CASA SEAT virtual opening.

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CASA SEAT is opening its doors for the first time and reveals everything it will have to offer after its physical opening, which is scheduled for the coming weeks. Through an online opening with the participation of SEAT executives, FC Barcelona goalkeeper Marc ter Stegen and interior designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán, SEAT is showing the new space, located in the heart of Barcelona on the corner of Paseo de Gracia and Avenida Diagonal.

CASA SEAT is a unique hub celebrating future innovation, mobility, SEAT and CUPRA.

Hosted by journalist Ainhoa Arbizu, the virtual presentation marks the opening of CASA SEAT to the world, a milestone for the brand, located in the city where it was born 70 years ago. The space is set to become a benchmark urban mobility hub, one of SEAT’s strategic pillars. It is also the perfect space for CUPRA, from where it will display and promote its new products. In short, this brand experience centre will be a space in which to showcase projects inspired by Barcelona’s vibrant mobility and urban culture.  

According to SEAT President Carsten Isensee, “Barcelona has been the home of SEAT since 1950, helping to raise the company’s profile in the eyes of the general public and visitors from all over the world. At this new headquarters in the city centre, we will be showing the company’s future in the field of mobility, among many other things.”

Furthermore, SEAT Vice-president for Sales and Marketing and CUPRA CEO Wayne Griffiths emphasised that “CASA SEAT is an example of the brand’s current relationship with this fantastic city. It is a brand experience center in the heart of Barcelona where customers and citizens can engage with SEAT and CUPRA and where we will show the most progressive projects. In general terms, people can come to experience everything that the company and its brands are committed to.”

Christian Stein, general director of SEAT Communications and SEAT and the Volkswagen Group in Spain Institutional Relations, said that “this will be a place for the exchange of ideas, creativity and business, as well as a space that welcomes the media and institutions. A space for conversation on the subject of mobility, where the needs of the city can be identified and creative solutions found through collaboration and open innovation.”

“The place to be” to find out about the latest trends in urban mobility

Those attending the virtual presentation will get a first glimpse of what the 2,600 m2 of CASA SEAT will offer. This space was created with the ambition of becoming a hub for redesigning future mobility, and in this way, tackle today’s challenges through the co-creation of solutions together with different stakeholders. “Mobility in cities is changing rapidly, and especially now after the effects of the coronavirus. In the last two years, SEAT has been investing in micromobility products that adapt to these new circumstances. Because of its strategic location, CASA SEAT gives us all the inspiration we need to develop them”, explained SEAT Urban Mobility director Lucas Casasnovas.

To promote networking and the exchange of ideas, CASA SEAT will offer a programme of activities that includes talks, workshops and various cultural interactions around mobility, sustainability, technology and business, among other topics. “The mobility of the future will be closely linked to urban culture. That is why we conceived CASA SEAT as the ideal meeting point between the two worlds”, underlined CASA SEAT director Gabriele Palma.

The future beats in the heart of Barcelona

The future SEAT and CUPRA models and all the new features of the Urban Mobility unit will be conceived and exhibited at CASA SEAT, specifically on the second floor of the building, where the best-kept secret is to be found, the CASA SEAT Concept Lab. This is where the company’s designers will work on the initial stages of the new models. At the Concept Lab, they will develop the most innovative proposals inspired by the light and vibrant lifestyle of Barcelona. Likewise, visitors to CASA SEAT will also be surprised by the innovative physical and digital experience of the showroom on the first floor, where the latest SEAT and CUPRA launches will be on display, as well as the new urban mobility solutions promoted by the company.

CUPRA ambassador and FC Barcelona footballer Marc ter Stegen took part in the presentation and said, “I am very excited that the brand I represent as a world ambassador is inaugurating this space in such a privileged location, in the heart of Barcelona. It is a place I know I will visit often, to stay up to date on the latest developments and models from the world of CUPRA.”  

An iconic building by architect Carlos Ferrater

The prestigious architect Carlos Ferrater and his Office of Architecture in Barcelona (OAB) studio took on the project of remodelling the building that is home to CASA SEAT. The refurbishment project conceives the building as a gathering place and a showcase for the city thanks to its emblematic location where, as a result of dividing the building into two independent volumes, a passage is formed from Paseo de Gracia to the Pompeia Church across the street.

The new space aims to become a meeting spot for the city’s events and trends.

Ferrater’s project views CASA SEAT as a central meeting point in the city. For this reason, the architect reinforced the street side pillars, freeing up the corners of the structure and smoothing all the angles of the façade; three modifications that result in a rounded, continuous façade, giving the building an open, unique, friendly character. This is possible thanks to the one of a kind wavy bronze screen-printed glass windows, which also enhance the transparency of the building, whose character and cultural activity will be clearly visible to all passers-by. CASA SEAT has the largest curved glass windows installed in Spain and they are destined to become a visual icon of Barcelona. As a whole, CASA SEAT is a contemporary reinterpretation of the characteristic buildings of Barcelona’s Eixample district. A building that celebrates the history of Barcelona’s urbanism while projecting it into the future.

Interior design that makes you feel right at home

“Enjoy the space as if it were your own” is the message that the interior design by the studio of Lázaro Rosa-Violán for CASA SEAT wishes to convey. According to the interior designer, “it is a dynamic, changing space in which the design is highly integrated.” A welcoming place that shows SEAT’s connection with Barcelona and its differential values as an open, modern, creative, inspiring city.

Lázaro Rosa-Violán and his studio conceived an interior design which prominently features a broad, lively palette of saturated rust, light green and blue to make the space dynamic and welcoming. This saturation also makes it possible to accentuate the quality of the locally sourced materials, including microcement in different textures over all four floors and wood features that give CASA SEAT an equally modern and friendly character.

The star attraction of the space is its light. On the one hand, the light of Barcelona, which filters through the large glass façade, equipped with a motorised shutter system that makes CASA SEAT a sustainable building by reducing air conditioning needs. On the other hand, the interior is bathed by carefully worked indirect light through designer and antique lamps to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere. The combination of the two enhance several remarkable features inside the space, such as the springy stools and the wall murals - whether decorative or related in some way to mechanics and movement – creating a connection between the surroundings and the automotive sector.

The gastronomy of Ametller Origin, a reason to meet at CASA SEAT

CASA SEAT will also feature a café-restaurant run by Ametller Origen, whose cuisine is based on the Mediterranean diet made up principally of seasonal produce. In this way, the restaurant area will be one more attraction in the space thanks to a gastronomic offer in which healthy nutrition, sustainability and quality/price will be at the fore. Likewise, on the ground floor, you will also find a large area where you can chat comfortably, admire the company’s latest prototypes and concepts, or meet and develop new projects in the coworking area in collaboration with young, up-and-coming companies.

Urban culture, innovation and talent: key issues on the CASA SEAT agenda

In order to integrate into the city’s cultural, artistic and business ecosystem, CASA SEAT has an extensive calendar of activities, talks, concerts and workshops where urban culture, mobility, sustainability and technology are the protagonists. 

With the commitment to offer people innovative, relevant proposals, until the physical opening of CASA SEAT the scheduled activities will be digital meetings and can all be followed via the webpage, where recordings of activities already carried out can also be consulted, such as the talk given at the end of April by John Moavenzadeh, director of Urban Mobility at MIT, on the impact of COVID-19 on the future of mobility or the digital meeting in which film director Isabel Coixet and Carlos Ferrater talked about the relationship between cinema and architecture.