Plaça de Can Fabra occupies part of the site of the old Fabra i Coats cotton mill, whose central building has been preserved. The public space and green area surrounding it were reclaimed in stages, at the initiative Sant Andreu residents.
The Can Fabra Gardens have gradually adapted to the spaces surrounding them over the years. Like a made-to-measure suit that meets several needs. For example, there is a paved square and a sheet of water in front of the library andon one side, a green space intended as a neighbourhood garden. Screened from the traffic, there is also an area for sitting and relaxing in the shade and, behind the library, there is another landscaped area, where the greenery is distributed geometrically, which interacts with the architecture that frames it (the library building) through ramps, parterres and pergolas that catch the eye.
The building now known as “Can Fabra” was built towards the end of the 19th century and occupied two blocks, between the Sant Andreu and Rec factories. In 1915 the company had over 1,500 workers and, at its height, it employed three thousand people, mainly from Sant Andreu. The idea of reclaiming the factory for the neighbourhood came from the residents’ associations and this was done, along with the landscaping, in several stages.
The first plantings were carried out in 1989 and the landscaped area adjacent to C/ Dr Balari, the Font Cibernètica (Cybernetic Fountain) and the square around it were completed in 1995. The landscaping at the back was competed five years later, coinciding with the factory’s conversion into the Ignasi Iglésias Library. This means there are two areas with a different layout and geometry.
A group of southern nettle trees
(Celtis australis) greets visitors at the entrance, where they will see the library on the left and a secluded garden on the right, with a pond and wooden Chinese bridge. The pond has three bald cypresses (Taxodium distichum) growing in it and,
nearby, there are stone pines (Pinus pinea), cypresses (Cupressus sempervirens), holm oaks (Quercus ilex), an elm tree (Ulmus pumila) and southern nettle trees (Celtis australis). You will also find strawberry trees (Arbutus unedum), shrubs which are almost trees, a large laurustinus (Viburnum tinus), feijoas (Feijoa sellowiana), glossy privets (Ligustrum lucidum) and Mediterranean buckthorn (Rhamnus alaternus).
The second landscaped area is in marked contrast to the first, which is more naturalised. The closest part to the library is a paved path that creates geometric parterres. Here there are cypresses (Cupressus sempervirens), sweet bays (Laurus nobilis), thorny olive trees (Elaeagnus pungens reflexa) and cheesewoods (Pittosporum tobira), as well as poplars (Populus nigra), pine trees (Pinus pinea) and tipu trees (Tipuana tipu). Along the boundary with C/ Otger there is a row of benches shaded by tipu trees, plus a set of five pergolas with climbing plants: pink trumpet vine (Podranea ricasoliana) and Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) combined with rose bushes and Banks’ rose.
Art and Architecture
There is a sheet of water opposite the library, surrounded by grass. This is the Font Cibernètica, a large ornamental fountain designed by Ramon Llopart. It is a musical fountain with parabolic and vertical jets of water which create liquid curtains that form shapes. The water flow, music and light are remotely controlled to create synchronised choreographies.
Equally remarkable is the secluded, bullet-shaped garden, which has a Chinese wooden bridge and an oval pond, with three bald cypresses (Taxodium distichum) growing inside it. This species grows in watery spaces such as lakes, ponds, marshes and marshy areas, so it is natural to find it inside water, showing its air roots which are above the water surface to capture oxygen. Its leaves turn a reddish colour during the autumn when they are about to fall. Then the pond, bridge and garden have an oriental, autumn look, where rusty hues predominate.
- C Segre, 24*31
- Sant Andreu
- Sant Andreu
- Post Code:
- Centro público
Altres accessos: carrer del Doctor Balari i Jovany, carrer Otger i carrer de Sant Adrià
- C Segre, 24*31