L'illa Diagonal’s renovation will be completed by late 2024 with an estimated investment of €35m. Credit: xagstock/Shutterstock.com.
L'illa Diagonal attracts about 16 million visitors a year. Credit: Eddy Galeotti/Shutterstock.com.
L'illa Diagonal retail area includes two four-star hotels, offices, two schools, a sports centre, a nightclub and music hall, a convention centre, a public park, and a parking lot. Credit: Eddy Galeotti/Shutterstock.com.

L’illa Diagonal, the first retail centre constructed in Barcelona, Spain, is being renovated with an estimated investment of €35m ($37.9m).

Opened in 1993, L’illa Diagonal features a retail area of 35,000m² (376,736ft²) spread over three levels with more than 170 stores, drawing approximately 16 million tourists a year.

The renovation will be completed by the end of 2024.


L’illa Diagonal is situated at the centre of Avinguda Diagonal, on the boundaries of Les Corts and Sarria-Sant Gervasi districts.

L’illa Diagonal renovation details

The renovation of L’illa Diagonal includes renovations to both the exterior and interior areas. It seeks to improve the overall user experience and align the shopping centre with emerging needs and trends.

Key aspects of the project include the creation of new green and sustainable spaces to promote the interaction between individuals and nature. In addition to enhancements in the external environment, new dining areas and relaxation zones have been introduced, accompanied by upgrades to architectural features such as ceilings, flooring and staircases.

The modifications are designed not only to maintain the relevance of L’illa Diagonal but also to elevate visitors’ experiences, promote engagement with green spaces, and strengthen the connection between the interior and exterior areas of the complex.

Digital lighting details

A new digital lighting concept has been introduced in the shopping centre, featuring a dynamic ceiling installation that revolutionises the lighting experience. A 1,100m² surface has been animated, showcasing a seamless blend of architectural integration and lighting design.

The installation consists of more than 200,000 pixels strategically placed and intricately mapped to ensure coherent operation with the displayed content. The use of red, green, blue, and white LEDs provides a wide range of colours, with each component custom-designed and manufactured for the installation including panels, LEDs, connection and distribution elements, and tensioned textiles, all tailored to seamlessly blend with the space. The innovative surface, which merges lighting and low-resolution screen concepts, is enhanced through specially curated content.

The ceiling of the L’illa Diagonal is transformed into a digital canvas with abstract light and colour movements, creating animated skies that appear alive. The installation features the Northern Lights as the central theme, immersing the surroundings in a display that transports viewers to landscapes oscillating between reality and imagination. Through the interplay of shadows, the installation achieves an immersive experience, crafting diverse atmospheres that combine spectacle with subtlety and elegance.

Digital elements details

The digital elements that enhance the second-floor corridor include two impressive LED screens and a digital ceiling canvas, captivating the attention of visitors. The first LED screen covers a total surface area of 17m², with a brightness of 5000 nits and 3.9mm pixels, while the second LED screen spans 10m² with similar specifications.

A third screen with comparable characteristics will also be installed. To further enhance the experience, the restyling will be complemented by the upcoming installation of five P1.9 LED columns, providing exceptional brightness of 2500 nits, perfect for smaller spaces requiring high-quality content.

L’illa Diagonal design and features

The large L’illa Diagonal complex features an architectural design resembling a fallen tower, inspired by New York’s Rockefeller Center.

L’illa Diagonal retail area includes two four-star hotels, offices, two schools, a sports centre, a nightclub, a music hall, a convention centre, a public park and a parking lot with more than 2,400 spaces.

Following the modifications in 2006, L’illa Diagonal expanded by 4,000m², with several new stores as well as a huge new hotel inaugurated.

Store details

L’illa Diagonal houses various retailers, including Adolfo Domínguez, American Vintage, Decathlon, Cottet Optica, Ecoalf, Douglas and more.

Contractors involved

Architecture company Batlleiroig has undertaken the L’illa Diagonal redevelopment project.

Batlleiroig collaborated with the Artec Studio lighting design studio to create and direct the design and lighting concept, while Trigelab was responsible for the audiovisual production.

Lumalia Studio oversaw the manufacturing, assembly and installation of the digital canvas on the ceiling, while ProtoPixel handled the programming.

Digital Signage company Iwall in Shop partnered with LED DREAM Group to supply, assemble and install LED screens across the retail centre, improving the consumer experience and attracting top-tier advertising firms.

Iwall in Shop will update the shopping centre’s digital network by incorporating large-scale digital displays within the mall, enhancing the current set-up of 25 existing kiosks.

The building was designed by the architects Rafael Moneo and Manuel de Sola-Morales in the shape of a horizontal skyscraper that appears to be lying on its side next to the Diagonal.