On March 23rd 2010, La Llotja theater and congress center will celebrate its grand opening to an audience of citizens, press, the Mayor Ros of Lleida and other dignitaries. La Llotja de Lleida designed by Francine Houben of Mecanoo architecten & LABB arquitectura is one of the most prestigious project in Catalunya, transforming Lleida into a cultural destination and providing a venue for opera, plays and congresses.
La Llotja hosted the opening of the cultural season in January, before its official opening, with the performance of Verdi's "Il Trovatore" to a crowd of over 1,000 theatre aficionados. Mayor Ros, in his speech to the public, thanked architect and founder of Mecanoo Francine Houben for the "beautiful palace," while celebrated Belgian stage director, Gilles Deflo proclaimed La Llotja's acoustics to be excellent, and the theater a pleasure to work in.
In 2005, Mecanoo won first prize and the commission in an international design competition. La Llotja is 37,500 m² with two congress halls (1,000 and 400 seats), the largest functions as a theater as well, a congress hall with 200 seats, a multifunctional space and a lounge with a view on the old city and on the Segre river, 9,500 m² of parking and a public square of 15,325 m², Mercolleida office and retail of 2,591 m². Building costs amount to 35 million.