The question of how orthodox modernity, conceived with an international nature, was absorbed into different countries continues to be a subject of interest. This text covers the study of a specific episode of the history of Spanish urbanism and architecture, focusing on Gran San Blas housing estate, built in Madrid during the late 1950s according to the principles of the International Congresses of Modern Architecture (ciam). The disparity of readings that Spanish architects made of modern orthodoxy is present in this urban intervention, where different architects developed the various units. These projects, analysed in parallel with the theoretical principles that inspired them and with other estates built during the same years in Spain and in France, Italy and Portugal, pose some questions that will enable a debate around the ‘nature of their modernity’ and how a more or less canonical modernity became established in Spain.
Keywords: Cities; housing estates; ciam