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150 YEARS AGO THEWALLED BARCELONA

I n1818,Bar c el onahad83, 000i nhabi t ant s . I n1850,amer e32y ear sl at er ,t hatnumber hadgr ownt o187, 000.Thear eac ov er ed byt hec i t y ,howev er ,r emai nedunc hanged. Thewal l ss ur r oundi ngt heur bannuc l eus r ender edex pans i oni mpos s i bl e.Thec i t y neededt ogr ow,butc oul donl ydos oi n hei ghtbyaddi ngs t or ey st ot hebui l di ngs t hatal r eadyex i s t edandi nv ent i ngnew s pac es ,s uc hasar c hest hatmadei t pos s i bl et opar t i al l yc ov ert hes t r eet s .I nt he Bar c el onaoft hos eday s ,wi t hi t snar r ow al l ey sandl aby r i nt hi nel ay out ,t her ewasa nec es s i t yf ors pac eandi nf r as t r uc t ur e. Bui l di ngshadnov ent i l at i on.Hy gi eni c c ondi t i onswer edr eadf ul .Li f eex pec t anc y was36y ear samongpr i v i l egedc l as s esand 23y ear sf ort hemor ehumbl ec l as s es .The c i t ywass uf f oc at i ng.Par adox i c al l y ,i twas s ur r oundedbyampl es pac esof uni nhabi t edl and.Theobs es s i onwi t hi t s def enc ehadc aus edapr ohi bi t i onon bui l di ngwi t hi nt hedi s t anc eofac anons hot . I n1841,t heCi t yHal l hel dac ompet i t i oni n whi c hi tc al l edf ori deasont headv ant ages t hatwoul dbebr oughtaboutbydemol i s hi ng t hec i t ywal l s .Thewor kt hatwonwast hatof t hephy s i c i anandhy gi eni s tPer eFi l i p Monl au,whi c hwast i t l ed“ Downwi t ht he wal l s ! ! ! � ,ac r ys ummoni ngt hes pi r i tt hat woul ddomi nat et heage.Thats amey ear , t het hi nk erandt heol ogi s tJ aumeBal mes publ i s hedas er i esofar t i c l esex pl ai ni ngt he adv ant agesofac i t ywi t houtt hec ons t r ai nt s ofar t i f i c i al boundar i es .I twasnol ongeronl y t hemos tpr ogr es s i v ev oi c eswhower e s uppor t i ngt hi sdemand.Four t eeny ear s l at er ,i n1854,t hel ongc ampai gnbec ame f r ui t f ul :aRoy al Or derf r om t heGov er nment ofMadr i daut hor i s edwhatwasal r eadya mat t eroff ac t :c ommenc ewi t ht he demol i t i onoft hewal l s .


150 YEARS AGO THERACEFOR EXPANSI ON

Att heendof1858,t heMi ni st erofWar madet hedeci si ont ost opconsi der i ngBar cel onaasbei ngaf or t i f i edt own.Def ence wasnol ongerapr i or i t yanddeci si onmaki ngcompet enceovert heci t ywast r ansf er r edt ot heMi ni st r yofPubl i cWor ks.Ci t y Hal li nt er pr et edt hi schanget obet hegr een l i ghtf orbui l di ngt hedi st r i ctEi x ampl e( a Cat al oni ant er m meani ng“ ex pansi on” )and on12Febr uar y1859aconsul t antcommi ssi onconvenedwi t ht heul t i mat eobj ect i veof t ur ni ngt hepr oj ecti nt oapubl i ccompet i t i on. Onl yt hr eedaysl at er ,t heMi ni st erofPubl i c Wor kst askedI l def onsCer dàwi t ht her eal i sat i onoft hePl anf orRef or m andDevel opmenti nBar cel ona.Twomont hsl at er , however ,Ci t yHal lpubl i shedcompet i t i on gui del i nesf orpl anni ngt hez one’ sur bani sat i onandsett he31stofJ ul yast hef i nal dat e.Thet woi nst i t ut i onshadl aunchedt hei r owni ni t i at i vesandnei t herwaswi l l i ngt o cedet ot heot her .Thi sl aunchedacompl ex pr ocesswhosei nf l uent i alf act or si ncl uded t hei mpor t anteconomi ci nt er est soft hose owni ngl andar oundt heci t y . On7J ul y1859,150year sago,t heMi ni st r y publ i shedaRoyalOr derappr ovi ngt hePl an f orRef or m andDevel opmenti nBar cel ona t ober eal i sedbyI l def onsCer dà.TheCat al oni anengi neerhadspentyear sst udyi ng t hel i vi ngcondi t i onsoft heci t y’ si nhabi t ant s andhadbeenchar gedwi t ht het askof dr awi ngat opogr aphi calpl anofBar cel ona’ s sur r oundi ngar easasear l yas1854.Ci t y Hal l ,however ,decl ar edt hear chi t ectAnt oni Rovi r ai Tr i asast hewi nneroft hepubl i shed pr oj ectcompet i t i onon10Oct ober1859.I n t het womont hst of ol l ow,t heCi t yCounci l appl i edpr essur et ot heef f ectt hatRovi r aI i as’ pl anwoul dr epl aceCer dà’ s.On31 Tr May1860,however ,t heMi ni st r yr esol ved t hequest i onvi aRoyalDecr ee,whi chgave ul t i mat epr oj ectappr ovalt ot heengi neer bor ni nCent el l es.

Rovi r ai Tr i as’ pr oj ectwast hewi nneroft heCi t yHal l pr oj ect s compet i t i on.

Sol eri Gl r i as’ pr oj ectf i r stment i onoft heCi t yHal l pr oj ect s compt et i t i on.

Font ser éi Mest r es,t hi r dpl aceoft heCi t yHal l pr oj ect s compet i t i on.

Cer dàspr oj ect .© Real Academi adeBel l asAr t esdeSan Fer nandodeMadr i d.


150 YEARS AGO THECERDÀ PLAN

ThePl anf orRef or m andDev el opmenti n Bar c el onai sc ons i der edt obeapi oneer pr oj ec ti nt heev ol ut i onofmoder n ur bani s m.Cer dàas pi r edt oc r eat eac i t y whi c h,des pi t ehav i ngs nat c hedupr ur al l and,woul dbear t i c ul at edwi t hwi des t r eet s andgr eens pac es .Theengi neerdes i gned agr i dpl aner ul edbyt hes t r i c tgeomet r yof par al l el andper pendi c ul ars t r eet s ,i nt er r upt edonl ybyt hel ar geav enuespas s i ng t hr ought hear eadi agonal l y .Theoc t agonal bl oc k si nc or por at i ngc hamf er edc or ner st o f ac i l i t at et r af f i cf l ows t oodoutamongt he mai nnov el t i es . TheCer dàPl anof1859ac c ount edf ora s t r eetwi dt hof20met r esandwasgoi ngt o bui l dont wos i desofeac hbl oc konl y , l eav i ngani nt er i orgr eenz oneopenf or publ i cus e.Themax i mum hei ghtofa bui l di ngwast obe16met r es ,t heequi v al entofaf our s t or eybui l di ng.Thepl an pr ov i dedf oramar k etev er y900met r es ,a par kev er y1, 500,t hr eehos pi t al s ,as l aught er hous e,ac emet er y ,awoodand31 c hur c hes .Lar gei ndus t r ywoul dbel oc at ed nex tt ot het wor i v er s ,wi t hs mal l and medi um s i z edbus i nes sdi s t r i but edt hr oughoutt hec i t y .Wi t hr egar dt oi nf r as t r uc t ur e, t heengi neerdes i gnedas y s t em f orr ec ol l ec t i ngwat erandi nt r oduc edr ai l andr oad t r ans por t at i on.Whatc ont i nuest os ur pr i s e ust odayi sCer dà’ sc apac i t yt opr edi c tt he pr ot agoni s t i cr ol ewhi c hpubl i ct r ans por t woul dpl ayi nt hec i t y ,af ac t ort hatper mi t t ed Bar c el onat oadoptt hepr of oundc hanges br oughtaboutbyt i me,asi fhehadac t ual l y ex pec t edt hem 150y ear sago.


150 YEARS AGO THEBI RTHOF THEEI XAMPLE

On4Sept ember1860,j us taf ewmont hs af t err ec ei v i ngf i nal appr ov al f ort hepr oj ec t , QueenI s abel I I l ai dt hef i r s ts t oneof Ei x ampl ewher ePl aç adeCat al uny ai s c ur r ent l yl oc at ed.Howev er ,i twoul ds t i l l t ak eaf ewy ear sf ort hec i t y ’ sex pans i on out s i det hewal l st obec omear eal i t y .The l ac kofi nf r as t r uc t ur eandt hedi s t anc ef r om t heur bannuc l eusmadet hear eaunat t r ac t i v et oi nv es t or s .I n1863,Cer dàhi ms el f i nt r oduc edamodi f i c at i ont ot hepr oj ec tt hat i nc r eas edt hebui l dabl el andoneac hbl oc k . Thei ni t i al pl an’ sbl oc k swi t hbui l di ngon onl yt wos i desgav ewayt ot hos ewi t hmor e s pac ef orbui l di ng. Li t t l ebyl i t t l e,Ei x ampl e’ sf i r s ti nhabi t ant s wer ej oi nedbyot her si nac ons t antt r i c k l e. As oc al l edGol dFev erar os ebyt he1870s . I nv es t or sr ec ogni s edt hez one’ sur bani s at i onasanex c el l entbus i nes soppor t uni t y . Thos ewhohadamas s edweal t hi nt he Amer i c asr et ur nedwi t hf r es hi nv es t ment c api t al .Pr i v i l egedf ami l i esf oundt hemos t adequat el oc at i onf orbui l di ngt hei rr es i denc est obeont her i ghts i deofEi x ampl e. Cer dà’ spr oj ec twasf i nal l yc ons ent ed, des pi t ec ons t r uc t i onf ev erc ont r i but i ngt oa pr ogr es s i v er educ t i oni ngr eens pac esand f ac i l i t i es .I nt heend,al l f ours i desofabl oc k wer ebui l tupon,andt hehei ghtandt he s ur f ac ear eaoft hebui l di ngswasal s o i nc r eas ed. TheUni v er s al Ex pos i t i onof1888al l owed f orr enov at i oni nc er t ai nar easaswel l asf or t hec r eat i onofpubl i cs er v i c es .Att heend oft he19t hCent ur y ,El Ei x ampl ehadgr own s uc ht hatBar c el onai nt egr at edt hemuni c i pal i t i esofSant s ,LesCor t s ,SantGer v as i , Gr ac i a,SantAndr euandSantMar t íi n 1897.

Profile for CCCB

150 years ago  

This is the story of how The Eixample quarters were born in the city of Barcelona 150 years ago.

150 years ago  

This is the story of how The Eixample quarters were born in the city of Barcelona 150 years ago.

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