Today we discover the history of the architecture of Barcelona’s Eixample, the city’s symbol and the neighborhood where our Coworking is located.
From Factory we want to give visibility to the great engineer who revolutionized the way of distributing Barcelona Ildefonso Cerdà
He was an engineer, urban planner and, among other things, a Spanish politician.
He inherited a family fortune after the sudden death of his father and his two older brothers and resigned his civil service post in 1849 to devote himself solely to the study of what he defined as The Cerdà Plan.
After the approval of the central government, the Cerdà plan began.
Its approval was followed by a strong controversy because it was imposed by the government of the Kingdom of Spain against the plan of Antonio Rovira y Trías, who had won a competition organised by the Barcelona City Council.
On 4 September 1860, the Queen Isabella II laid the first stone of the Eixample in what is now Plaça de Catalunya.
In 1870, a large group of investors saw a great business opportunity and invested, which led to the reduction of green spaces.
The Universal Exhibition of 1888 was another boost that allowed some areas to be renovated and public services to be created.
Finally, at the end of the 19th century, the bourgeoisie decided to support Modernisme with buildings for rent, which allowed the Eixample to grow, integrating the municipalities of Sants, Las Corts, Sant Gervasi de Cassolas, Gràcia, Sant Andreu de Palomar and Sant Martí de Provençals.
The Cerdà plan stands out for its characteristic blocks in a square shape (in Spanish «Manzanas»), its uniformity (practically all its streets are «the same» except for the Diagonal, the Meridiana and the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes), its wide streets (20, 30 and 60 m) seeking to improve hygienic conditions and with its characteristic chamfers that would facilitate visibility in the future and would facilitate the circulation of vehicles.
Cerdà explained the chamfering of the corners of the blocks from the point of view of the visibility that this gives to road traffic and in a vision of the future in which he was no more mistaken than in the term used to define the vehicle, he spoke of the locomotives that would one day circulate in the streets and of the need to create a wider space at each crossroads to facilitate the stopping of these locomotives.
Did you know the architectural history of the Eixample?
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