The Astounding Design of Eixample Barcelona

Sometimes I think we can forget how beautiful the human built environment can become. The All That Is Interesting Blog had an interesting piece last week on the Eixample district of Barcelona. This district was famously built in the early 20th century specifically with a grid layout and rounded street corners. The idea behind the corners is to allow for greater visibility and to ‘open up’ the design. As the site points out, the effect of the area is quite striking when taken as a whole, particularly in areal photo form. Perhaps more interesting is the human geography that has grown around this design. A simple wikipedia search shows this district to house a range of social and ethnic populations. The place was designed with the needs of the population located in each of it’s five neighborhoods. Markets, schools, and hospitals littered the neighborhoods and apparently many of the existing markets in the area have been there since the beginning. All in all, it’s an attractive built environment we can see and visit even today.