Building located on Paseo de Gracia in Barcelona, in the "manzana de la discordia", popularly called this way because of the disparity of styles in the different buildings. What in the beginning was a mere alteration of a building became an opportunity for Gaudí to create one of his most poetical and decorative works.
The current Casa Batlló is the result of the total alteration of a conventional house. Gaudí was given the job of renovating Josep Batlló i Casanovas' (textile industrial) building. On this basis, Gaudí built this surprising house, one of the most special and with most fantasy in Barcelona.
Inside, the spaces were completely reorganized in order to get more natural ventilation and lighting (the courtyard is covered by a progressively lighter ceramic as you go from the terrace to the ground floor in order to get the most uniform lighting possible). Outside, Gaudí created one of the most spectacular and brilliant urban facades in the world. He used typical modernist building elements like ceramic, stone, forged iron with an incredible result. The facade is impressive during the day and at night, if it is illuminated.
The famous Agbar tower -one of the symbols of modern Barcelona- was built in 2005 following the design of the architect Jean Nouvel. It is situated at the gates of the new technological distric of the city, between Diagonal avenue and Badajoz street. According to the creator, the building was inspired in the architectural legacy of the great Gaudí and the landscape of Montserrat. The skyscrapers has 3 oval cylinders and is 145 meters high, which makes it the third highest building of Barcelona, after the Arts Hotel and the Mapfre tower.
The Casa Vicens is another famous Gaudi building that you'll discover almost "by accident." Only the true admirers of the master arrive at this point, hoping to see what is considered to be his first important work.
A rich bourgeois family ordered the construction of the building. You’ll find yourself before a richly decorated colorist building showing off colorful tiles that dazzle on sunny days and give a big touch of light to the narrow Carolines street, where the building is located. Due to the reflecting light, it can be difficult to take a picture, but the most important thing is to stand there for a few moments and admire each minute detail of this beautiful house.
For me, it's the complete opposite at La Pedrera (Casa Milà) (The Quarry). In this building, the most important details are the curved lines and the lack of rectitude. However, it’s hard not to appreciate any insinuation of curved lines at the Casa Vicens ;-). It would be interesting to have the two houses next door to each other to be able to best visualize and appreciate the evolution of the master. The Casa Vicens is profusely ornate. It’s very "Barroque." On the other hand, la Pedrera is simple, clean. The interior is more striking than the exterior.
The building certainly brings memories of mudejar construction, as a result of the oriental details of the exquisite wrought-iron gates that protect the farm (attention, it was designed by the master LLorenç Matamala).
It’s best if you walk there. Take the eclectic Gran de Gracia street, where you can enjoy the beautiful building and arrive at Carolines street, almost at the end of the route. Once there, turn to the right, head towards Carolines street and look out for the Gaudian genius surrounding you.
Since 2005, the building has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage ;-), but since it's private property you can't go inside
After seeing sites like la Pederera, the Casa Batllo, the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell, there's a proud collection of works designed by the brilliant Gaudi that remain almost hidden to our eyes. Somehow they’ve managed to escape the tourist acclaim that the previously mentioned masterpieces enjoy. The good thing is, there's plenty of Gaudi spread throughout Barcelona, you just need to look hard enough to find it ;-).
In the Eixample neighborhood, without wandering off very far from the well-known Passeig de Gracia and its famous "Îlla de la discòrdia," we can calmly admire another of Gaudi’s great works: the Casa Calvet.
Perhaps it's not as well known because its private use impedes access to its interior, but I assure you that the exterior alone is worth the visit. A dull facade, straight and rigid on one side and baroque and ornate on the other, represents the strong sense symbolism that Guadi has us accustomed to. Because of the facade, this won a well-deserved prize. Some consider the course somewhat conservative, I just enjoy it.
Each block of stone, each balcony, each structure deserves to be observed calmly, with eyes-wide-open attention. Calvet was a famous textile manufacturer who didn't hesitate to put Gaudi in charge of creating a multi-purpose home house. I sometimes ask myself, what would have become of us if those Modernist bourgeois mercenaries didn't exist? Would the city of Barcelona have as many admirers today? I can only thank them for their work and contributions to our society and culture.
I don't know the amount of time I've spent completely spellbound, looking at each detail: the amazing incredible "C" sculpted in honor of Calvet, the baroque series of balconies and the suspended forge work done on them, the symbolism of the cuerno de la fortuna (horn of fortune), the protruding heads of different saints, and add a huge etcetera to that list. There’s a hidden, almost intimate secret inside, the Casa Calvet restaurant. It’s hidden there like it’s trying not to be noticed but this special nook deserves its own guide.
Barcelona is what it has. If you’re able to wander around and curiously observe everything with open eyes, forgetting about the mega touristic sites, you'll find yourself alone at some surprising, splendid sites. At least that's what I do. I look at Barcelona with love and she gives me places like this. Please keep this secret for me!
There’s a building in the Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) area of Barcelona that goes almost totally unnoticed due to the magnificence of the world famous cathedral.
Before heading in to visit the Sagrada Familia, I’d advise you to dedicate a little of your time to see this exceptional museum and the schools. You’ll find a plethora of valuable information to help you better understand the Gaudian world, especially in regards to the impressive Temple
Don’t leave without entering into the school building. It’s considered one of Gaudí’s best works (the admission is included in the general entrance fee). Despite its winding, curving lines which give it an incredible gentleness and beauty, nothing is much further from the truth. This complex is carefully planned is covered in robust, rigid and perfect geometric shapes, according to some. The schools were destroyed during the Spanish Civil War and were later reconstructed, rock by rock, following Gaudi’s designs.
The façade is gorgeous, made with red Catalan brick. The interior houses a series of models, sketches, drawings that truly complete the visit to the Sagrada Familia. I like to consider the fact that its construction cost 9,000 pesetas at its time, just 60 € by today’s standard. Le Corbusier and Santiage Calatrava, among other great architects, have been faithful followers of this simple building which is known for its avant-garde and modernist style.
This is another of Gaudi’s many unknown gems that receives no attention in front of the majestic Sagrada Family, but only goes on to make his work even greater.
This rigorous work of art really stands out as it not at all Gaudi-like, completely rigid in detail and full of straight lines. Another architect was responsible for the construction of the Teresianas school, but it was Antoni Gaudí ve completed it. Gaudí was required to adhere to the strict rules of austerity and mysticism, in accordance with the Teresiana order.
Since the building is a working school, you can only visit by appointment, but viewing the outside of the building from the street is majestic in its own right. From some angles, it looks like a grand red brick palace, while at other times it looks like an enchanted mansion.
For me personally, it’s the presence of the straight line that stands out most in this Gaudian creation. Although this building follows a more conservative form, you can still see the presence of those magical Gaudian touches in the finishing of the tuck points that protrude over the roof. It's almost hidden up there like a mystic symbol that always accompanies Gaudi's work.
I would definitely recommend arraigning an appointment to visit the inside of the Teresian school if you have the time. It's more than worth it. The gardens are calm and beautiful. The inside is full of light, in contrast to the austere exterior.
As you can see, there's more to Gaudi than just the Sagrada Familia cathedral. ;-)