Cerda: 150 Years of Modernity

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Publisher: Actar,  ISBN: 9781945150357, Authors: Francesc Magrinyà & Fernando Marzá, Format: Hardcover, 243 x 254 mm, 320pp

This book is a tribute to one of the first modern urban planners, Ildefons Cerdà and his project: the Eixample, which is presently the thriving and undisputed centre of metropolitan Barcelona. The city of Barcelona as constructed over the last 150 years based off of Ildefons Cerdà's 1859 'Project for the Reform and Expansion' bears living witness to the modern modes of thinking on the making of a city. An appreciation of the values of the Eixample that have taken shape in the last century and a half affords illuminating insights into what it means to plan, design and build a city.

The chapter structure is devoted to an orderly analysis in the first instance of the elements that articulate the construction of the Eixample - the residential fabric, the grid, the street, the chamfered corner and the sewers - and then of the city blocks and the various configurations associated with housing, industry, amenities and open spaces. The book intentionally focuses on the Eixample as a whole - what we know as the Cerda Eixample - instead of confining itself to the more central Eixample traditionally associated with Modernista architecture.