Spain’s second largest city, Barcelona is making a massive cultural statement with the conversion of its iconic bull ring into a “destination” retail and leisure complex designed by London based Richard Rogers Partnership. The bull ring pre-dated the city’s famous grid layout and is still one of the few circular buildings in the city. The project is particularly challenging because of the retention of the exterior brick façade and the excavation of four floors below the original floor level. Extensive temporary works have been required for this precarious stage of construction which leaves the wall particularly exposed. The facade will ultimately be secured by the internal structure. Externally, the Roger's design includes an exciting fusion of contemporary stainless steel staircases, glass lifts, steel towers with the historic brick envelope. One area that is not in total harmony with the 21st century city, is the provision of parking for some 1,250 cars and 500 motorcycles underground. Completion is scheduled for 2008.