Casa de las Flores is a most singular and exceptional building in Madrid. It is located in Barrio de Chamberí and it stands out because of its balconies and landscaped area. This building is regarded as one of the most important ones of the Madrid architecture in the first half of the XX century, as well as serving as an example to many architecture students. It is a residential building which was designed taking into account the neighbourhood and the surroundings but above all, the people who would live there as well as neighbouring residents and passers-by. It was designed by the architect from Bilbao Secundino Zuazo, who also drew up the designs for Casa de las Abejas about which we already wrote in this blog. The last article in our section Madrid Corners, was Campo del Moro. Today, we are going to talk about a residential building which has a breathtaking landscaped area. It is called Casa de las Flores.
AN INNOVATIVE AND AVANT-GARDE BUILDING
Casa de las Flores is a residential building located on the corner of Calle Princesa in the area of Chamberí. It was built in 1931 as part of Ensanche de Madrid. From the very beginning, Secundino Zuazo thought of designing an innovative and avant-garde building, very different from the typical ones previously built in Madrid.
His major achievement was to integrate architecture with nature so as to create a pleasant and livable residential building. Inside, he designed a large courtyard which was open to the street thus, enabling light and air to reach, without obstacles, all the flats. The building had 5 storeys and 288 flats. The façades were covered with exposed brick which was typical of the Madrid constructions, as we have mentioned in other articles. Casa de las Flores had the particularity that the common areas allowed the neighbours to interact and to live in community. Other residential areas in Madrid did not enjoy this privilege.
The architect designed specific places in all the balconies and terraces in which to place flowers and plants hence, creating landscaped areas. This gave the building a differential element which led to its popular name Casa de las Flores. During the Spanish Civil War, the building was severely damaged. However, it was later restored and in 1981, it was declared Property of Cultural Interest.
DID YOU KNOW THAT…?
Casa de las Flores is related to literature because many eminent writers had lived there such as Emilio Carrere from Madrid and the poet Pablo Neruda from Chile. This made the building a meeting place for Lorca, Miguel Hernandez and Rafael Alberti who were often seen there. We must bear in mind that the neighbourhood had numerous pubs and print shops as well as an awesome view of Madrid. Neruda himself, said that Miguel Hernandez had written some of his poems in his home, in Casa de las Flores.
Picture 01: Luis García
Picture 02: Marjorie Apel
Picture 03: Tamorlan
Picture 04: Enrique Cordero