Built in the 19th Century, the Eixample was as a groundbreaking town planning initiative and the brainchild of Catalan engineer Ildefons Cerdà. His vision was eminently simple but also outrageously ambitious – to increase the size of Barcelona ten-fold by creating urban residential blocks in a grid pattern that made space, green areas and amenities easily accessible to rich and poor alike.
For Cerdà, uniformity was anything but boring or monotonous, and this dedication to creating order from chaos and beauty from uniformity has stood the test of time. Purely in aesthetic terms, the chamfered corners on every crossroads in this giant development still emphasise a feeling of space and give passers-by a perfectly-framed view of some breathtaking architecture and magnificent apartments that stand out today as some of the finest in the world.
Another key element of this bold design was enclosing green spaces within the outer ‘walls’ of each block, proving a protected internal sense of peace and sanctuary from the traffic that not only circulated more freely on the well-planned roads beyond but could also be channeled out of town more efficiently.
The Eixample is found north of Plaça de Catalunya and made up of ‘Right’ and ‘Left’, divided by the block between the beautiful boulevard of Passeig de Gràcia and the more intimate Rambla de Catalunya with its myriad street cafés and residential feel.
The area is very well located for easy access to Barcelona Old Town and beachfront with all its world-renowned attractions, but despite this proximity to the buzzing cultural centre, the Eixample shrugs off the tourist invasion and has retained its own overarching identity as a sweeping residential neighbourhood of zones that have different characters but share a common physical connection.
The Eixample includes the area around Passeig de Gràcia, where Gaudi’s Modernista masterpieces the Casa Milà and Casa Batlló nestle among global retail brands and corporate HQs. It stretches across Diagonal towards the Sagrada Familia and beyond, and down towards Plaça de Espanya and Montjuïc. In every case residents enjoy living in elegant blocks that are universally well-served by shops, schools, restaurants, transport links and all other amenities.
Cerdà’s belief in the value of community was underlined by his creation of the Sant Antoni market, the first to be built outside the walls of medieval Barcelona. This grand market has been a key social focus for residents in and around this Eixample barrio since 1892, and over the past nine years it has undergone a spectacular €80m refurbishment, the most expensive in a programme that has seen 35 of the city’s 39 food markets refitted.
Cerdà would no doubt approve of this modern dedication to market culture that brings all residents of Barcelona within a 10-minute walk of this unique brand of fresh food, local identity and social interaction.
Driven largely by a study of Barcelona’s Old Town that concluded that the narrower and darker the street you lived in, the shorter your life would be, Cerdà’s resolved to make a difference, and after more than 160 years his ideas continue to resonate. The Eixample of his imagination has endured and his legacy can be seen on every corner of this architectural masterpiece.
The older parts of Barcelona enjoy even more popularity today than ever, and there are even plenty of notable residences to be found there. But generally speaking, residents have very different requirements to visitors, and when it comes to living the best life in Barcelona the Eixample still gives residents a lighter, brighter and less frenetic place to live.
It’s therefore no surprise that properties in the Eixample are highly sought after by investors and homebuyers. With their high ceilings, Modernista details and huge internal squares that may have lost much of their greenery but retain the sense of peace and quiet, this is a unique place to live. Many magnificent apartments have been turned into truly landmark properties, and some are still waiting to be renovated, but all prove that Cerdà’s beliefs match ours as much now as ever.
According to property portal Idealista, sales prices in Eixample ended the first quarter of 2018 on €5,053 per square metre, up €55 on the price at the end of 2017 and €719 above the average price across the city as a whole, evidence that the district still offers some exciting opportunities to potential investors.
BCN Advisors are delighted to present the following properties currently for sale in the Eixample district:
Fantastic 3-bedroom loft situated close to the Sagrada Familia
A former ironmonger’s workshop, this beautiful property has been exquisitely renovated whilst preserving original features such as exposed brick walls and Catalan vaulted ceilings.
Exclusive 4-bedroom loft situated in a highly desirable location close to Passeig de Gràcia
This stunning property boasts a unique design and has been featured in many international interior design magazines. The property benefits from a communal terrace with panoramic city views.
Beautiful 3-bedroom penthouse situated in the heart of the city
Well located between the neighbourhoods of Gràcia and Galvany, this excellent property offers 3 bedrooms, a private terrace with fantastic views and a large parking space.
Stunning brand new apartment located in a period building
Situated in the heart of the city, close to Passeig de Gràcia, Gran Via and Plaça de Catalunya, this contemporary newly renovated property offers 4 double bedrooms, wooden floors and a home automation system.
Impressive 4-bedroom penthouse in the right side of Eixample
This exquisitely renovated penthouse is located in a period building near Avinguda Diagonal and Passieg de Gràcia. The property boasts many original features including high vaulted ceilings and restored doors and also boasts 2 balconies.
Newly renovated apartment situated in a central location
This beautifully renovated apartment features high-end finishes combined with original period features. The property boasts abundant natural light, parquet flooring and original mosaic tile flooring.
Brand new apartment with a tourist licence
This newly renovated apartment offers 3 bedrooms, high ceilings, wooden and mosaic tile flooring and 2 large balconies. The building has a lift with direct access to the apartment.