L'Eixample Malagrida d'Olot: urbanisme i arquitectura a la Catalunya-ciutat-jardí

Vergés Tejero, Arnau
THE GARDEN CITY. This is the name under which Eixample Malagrida (the extension district) of the city of Olot is known; this is what it was called in the only plans available to us of the project that was born in the middle of Noucentisme and was promoted by the "Americano" from Olot Manuel Malagrida i Fontanet. The authorship of these plans is assigned to the city architects Joan Roca Pinet and Josep Esteve based on the signatures they make on the partial projects carried out by each of them in 1916 and 1925, respectively. However, can we consider the garden city model valid as the basis for the most important expansion project in the contemporary history of the city of Olot? And, furthermore, does its real authorship correspond only to these two names of the architects that signed the original plans? Questioning these historical statements is two of the main guidelines that accompany our research and lead us to look into the life and work of the project’s founder, Manuel Malagrida. This is an immersive process that also brings us to the investigation of other aspects of the project, such as its formal radial arrangement and the solid references associated with it, or the political dimension of the apparently innocuous metaphor of the discovery of America related to the second phase of the work. Beyond the historical or referential study of the project, this work addresses other issues of a more interpretative nature. On the one hand, we explore the personal space of those families living in the neighbourhood in its time of splendour -prior to the Civil War and the "Aigat" of 1940- with the aim of analysing the capacity of the architectural projects to generate a truly domestic architecture, beyond style or conventions. And, finally, we reclaim the efficiency and sensitivity of Olot's Eixample Malagrida in terms of its contribution to reconfiguring the urban, natural and social landscape in which it is embedded ​
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