The Magic Fountain was built by Carles Buigas for the International Expo in 1929, on the site where Josep Puig i Cadafalch's Four Columns had stood before being demolished in 1928. They were later rebuilt in 2010, only a few metres from their original location.
When work on the 1929 International Expo was already well under way, the organisers decided it needed "something special" to set it apart. That was when Carles Buigas presented his plans for a "colossal, daring and costly plan", which would later become Montjuïc's Magic Fountain.In under a year, over 3,000 workers made Buigas' dream come true, bringing light, water and colour to the broad avenue that was to be the Expo's main thoroughfare.
In the 80s music was incorporated, and shortly before the 1992 Olympic Games they were completely restored. From 2013 this is the main place to welcome the new year in the city.
The Magic Fountain starts using groundwater, as part of Barcelona's commitment to sustainability. This commitment has resulted in a number of measures aimed at reducing water consumption, something that has been especially significant in municipal facilities and services, including the use of groundwater in ornamental fountains.
Also it uses a 3D choreography generator, editor and simulator for the first time, allowing the creation of new light, water and music shows in just three minutes. It also means that the shows can be previewed without starting the fountain up, which means big financial and energy savings.
In 2014 The lighting system was replaced with RGB LED technology, allowing independent control of each LED spotlight and row of lights, providing a greater range and depth of colours. New equipment for controlling consumption was also introduced, allowing the Magic Fountain to be operated more sustainably, with considerable energy savings.
What really sets the Magic Fountain apart from other fountains is the volume of water moving through it, combined with the carefully calculated diameter of its delivery pipes. This gives the water the necessary speed for the choreographies.The fountain's 19 main water features can be found in the two central pools. The bottom pool has twenty small peripheral fountains encased in the ground, which have their own hydraulic system that produces five different water features.
The operating area, located in the two central pools, contains the lighting systems, with pentagonal prisms that provide the fountain's five colours, white, yellow, red, blue and green. The light reaches the exterior through 120 rectangular skylights made from prefabricated concrete, sealed with highly-resistant, toughened white glass.
In September 2011, the Magic Fountain started using an application for creating new light-and-water shows in just three minutes. This consists of a generator that analyses a piece of music automatically, an editor that speeds up the creation process and a 3D simulator that allows the choreography to be viewed without having to start the fountain up.
This advanced technology makes it easier to create choreographies that are custom-made or for special events.