slums in Barcelona

Barcelona shacks

April 19th, 2009

Most of the shacks built by the waves of immigrants in the 20th century in Barcelona have been demolished or converted, for the better, into more formal, decent housing, but a number of examples still survive in El Carmel, Montjuic and on the edges of Collserola. Many are threatened by bulldozers, but I think the most interesting should be protected as part of the city’s heritage and because they make the edges of the parks where many of them are sited more interesting. These ones below were taken in the Parc de la Creueta del Coll, El Carmel, and show a clear influence of southern Spanish rural architecture. I love the rural air and the chaos. Photos by Mónica.

gypsy cottage

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Shanty town in 1960s Barcelona

April 15th, 2009

This remarkable image is of the shanty town of El Carmel in the 1960s on what was then the outskirts of Barcelona. A number of these shacks have survived and been renovated into sturdier houses, sandwiched between high-rise blocks. Most of the El Carmel was developed in the 1960s and 1970s when immigrant workers flocked to the city and were forced to build housing for themselves. The area is today probably the most urbanistaically chaotic neighbourhood in the city.