The industrial districts of the Torras paper mills
Author: Xavier Martí i Ylla
The Torras family came from the town of Sant Joan les Fonts in the Garrotxa district, one of the centres of the Catalan paper industry, and even further back, from Anoia and El Vallès. It was only two centuries later that they arrived in the towns of Sarrià de Ter and Flaçà, both in the Gironès district, having first passed through Bonmatí. In 1953 the first residents began to move into the 100 houses that were to make up the “Paulí Torras Accommodation Unit“, developed by the brothers Joan and Francesc Torras Hostench. They were built in four stages, and not completed until 1961.
Constructed as a company town, this industrial district had its own church, school, company store, tobacconist, fishmonger and barbershop, a sports centre and bar, a venue serving as a cinema and theatre, as well as residential buildings for the owners and managers. The residents took part in a great many different leisure activities under the company’s “protective” aegis.
In Flaçà, Salvador Torras Domènech’s daughters set up a factory, and built 44 homes and a number of facilities. In Sarrià, meanwhile, detached houses were built, except in three cases of two homes within the same building, and in Flaçà two-storey buildings were erected, with 4 homes per building.
The presentation made at the International Congress on Worker Settlements and Factory Towns held in October 2018 may be found here