Barrio de Salamanca- Original block

Spain > Madrid > Barrio de Salamanca- Original block

Site Coverage  
Parking Ratio
income group High
Range Heights 4-5
basic project statistics
gross building area 64510
units 96
population 260
site area 13319 sq. m
coverage 81.00
parking 0
seniors 0
families w/ children 0
singles/couples 0
other 0
By the 1850s, Madrid reached a population of 300,000 and was experiencing a quick growth that was densifying the historic core, as the 17th century city walls did not allow for any expansion. In 1857 the government decided to commission an extension plan for the city to the engineer Carlos María de Castro, which was approved in 1860.

The Plan Castro was inspired by Cerda´s Eixample for Barcelona, and planned for the city´s growth from 800 to 2,300 Hectares, according to population growth projections. It proposed an orthogonal grid to be developed to the North, East and South of the existing city, defining different uses for each area. The primary unit for development was the rectangular block, with chamfered corners and large interior courtyards. The grid was composed of three street types of 30, 20 and 15 meters width, and it was planned that a fourth of the whole new city would be devoted to open public spaces.

However, the development of the Plan Castro was slower than expected, taking from 1860 to 1930, and was modified along time to encompass more speculative interests. Changes included the reduction of open space requirements, the permission to build higher and wider blocks than it was planned and to transform the interior courtyards into private alleyways.

The most representative part of the Plan Castro is the neighborhood called Barrio de Salamanca, planned for an affluent class, which is nowadays one of the most expensive yet vibrant areas in the city, with retail in the ground floor of almost all blocks and many institutional buildings.