The inside of one of the apartments

Catalan Rationalism in Sant Andreu

It is a classic of 20th century architecture, but have you ever been inside Casa Bloc?

Sometimes, we are so close to the proposals that they go unnoticed. This is what has happened to many Barcelona visitors to Casa Bloc (pictured. Photo: Lourdes Jansa), an example of rationalist architecture from the first half of the 20th century that surprises those who visit it because of its modernity. Every Saturday, they show it to you and explain how and when it was built.

It was the president of the Generalitat at the time, Francesc Macià, who in March 1933 laid the first brick in this block of flats commissioned to the architects of the Grup d'Arquitectes i Tècnics Catalans per al Progrés de l'Arquitectura Contemporània (GATCPAC). It is a block in the shape of the letter "s" which contains 207 flats and which was a prodigy of modernity in its time, as an example of rationalist architecture.
Flats of limited surface area, but aesthetically impeccable, practical and modern, confronted a wave of migrants who had already filled the areas of the Catalan capital with precarious constructions. Their inhabitants had to be the users of these new flats, which were between 55 and 77 square metres in size and were equipped with good ventilation, lighting, communal green areas and many other facilities and services that today seem normal, but which were not so in the homes of this social class at the beginning of the last century.

Not long ago, Disseny Hub Barcelona undertook the renovation of one of the flats of Casa Bloc to restore it to the original state in which it was when it was inaugurated. The most outstanding elements of the house were recovered, among them original hydraulic floors, folding doors, economical kitchens, bathroom with shower and even some of the furniture from the thirties.

The result is a flat converted into a museum that you can visit and get to know to discover how rationalist architecture was put at the service of the workers of Sant Andreu in order to improve their living conditions.

If you don't want to miss the experience of visiting Casa Bloc flat-museum, come and see it on Saturday, but first check the information about the visit on the DHub website.

Publication date: Wednesday, 07 February 2024
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