Barcelona Cultura
  • The garden

The garden's History

Ferran Fabra i Puig commissioned the garden to the French designer Jean-Claude-Nicolas Forestier (1861-1930), curator of the parks and gardens of Paris and one of the most recognised international landscapers. Forestier was key in the urban development of Barcelona, introducing the concept of Mediterranean gardens, especially in the Montjuïc mountain, which he landscaped in 1929 on the occasion of the International Exhibition.

It is likely that Forestier submitted more than one proposal, since the project that was finally implemented does not coincide with the general plan that was published in 1916: Jardins, carnet de plans et de dessin [Gardens, plans and designs book], under the title «Jardins pour l'Hôtel particulier de Mr le Marquis d'Alella à Barcelone [Gardens in Barcelona for the Marquis of Alella]». Eventually, the solution that was implemented was to create a space that was divided onto three terraces. In the main space there was a rectangular central pond, with a spring and terracotta pots decorating the perimeter. The ensemble was closed with three U-shaped pergolas decorated with rose bushes. The tower’s garden, located in calle de Avenir, had a flowerbed.

In 1933, Ferran Fabra applied for a works permit to build a block of flats to be rented out on the corner of calle de Muntaner with calle de Avenir, which resulted in the loss of 529 m2 of the original garden.

During the decade of the 1950s, probably between 1956 and 1957, Muñoz Ramonet commissioned the renovation to Joan Mirambell i Ferran who designed the garden that is visited nowadays. Mirambell introduced important changes in the frontal structure, creating slopes to level the garden with the house and raise the sides. The orientation of the pond and the pergolas was also changed, and sculptures by Josep Dunyach i Sala (1886-1957) and Josep Cañas i Cañas (1905-2001) were placed in different areas. The flowerbed created by Forestier in the tower’s garden on calle de Avenir was replaced by a pool, surrounded by columns and finished with bronze sculptures on pedestals by Josep Dunyach and Vicenç Navarro Romero (1888-1979). The vegetation was also replaced with a lawn, magnolias and palm trees.

Rehabilitation Works

The objective of the works carried out in the garden was to recover the essence of Forestier’s project and respect the change in elevation of the area serrounding the fountain carried out by Mirambell.

The main interventions have been to prune, preserve and eliminate vegetation in poor condition, recover and conserve some emblematic trees, such as the Maple of Montpellier and the Lime Tree, and plant new vegetation.

Furthermore, the pool was also replaced by a pond and landscaping was improved by making the paths accessible, and renewing the irrigation and lighting systems.