Barcelona’s Eixample, admired internationally for its grid-based streets, would have been the ideal city if it had respected Ildefons Cerdà’s original idea of making open city blocks with trees and gardens so that all residents could enjoy nature. Initial real estate speculation closed the blocks, building on all four sides, and the centres of the blocks were subsequently occupied by factories, artisan’s workshops, etc. All of this left the neighbourhood shut in between walls and without the open squares that Cerdà had foreseen in his design.
In recent years, little by little, the businesses in some of the interiors have been eliminated and efforts have been made to reclaim them, sometimes with great success. Today there are almost 40 interiors for recreational and public use. The first one was at Roger de Llúria 56, the Jardí de la Torre de les Aigües (Water Tower Gardens), also know as L’Eixample Beach because of the public pool that was built next to the large water tower. The 1,517m2 space, opened in 1987, was the first of a series of interiors that are bringing l’Eixample closer to its creator’s original design.