Paseo de Gracia
“Beauty lies in simplicity and efficiency”
Strolling along the grid of tree-lined streets in Barcelona’s Eixample district you will come across the Cuadrado de Oro (Golden Square), which boasts the highest concentration of modernist buildings in Europe. It is not only the impressive buildings by Puig i Cadafalch and Domènech i Montaner that draw one’s gaze here, but also the rich display of little details: the stained glass, shop windows, railings, mosaics, carved wood, and urban elements. Paseo de Gracia is at once an everlasting and yet changing scenario, where each generation showcases its luxury but where modernity and tradition are also serenely symbiotic: modernism, commerce and connectivity interweave with the splendour of the cosmopolitan city.
The very recent redevelopment of the city’s main shopping avenue has created wider pavements, replacing the benches with Miguel Milá’s NeoRomántico Liviano model, which are not only discretely dignified but have also been relocated to make better use of the new civilian spaces and to create the synergies that are so vital in the multi-speed city. The lighting for the central reservation and side lanes, i.e., the main lighting for the whole boulevard, has been entrusted to the quiet work of the Candela street lamps designed by Gonzalo Milá.
As a result, in front of the Casa Milá, which Pere Milá commissioned to Antoni Gaudí in 1906 and is popularly known as La Pedrera (‘the stone quarry’) in reference to both the developer’s name and the material chosen by the architect, today we find a bench designed in 2000 by Pere’s youngest nephew, Miguel Milá, the great pioneering master of design in Spain, as well as a cutting-edge technology street lamp designed by his son, Gonzalo Milá in 2012, in what is unarguably a highly elegant coexistence of three generations of Barcelona on the city’s main thoroughfare.
Urban Projects, Planning area. Barcelona’s city Hall.
Carles Casamor & Jaume Graells architects.