Casa Batlló in Barcelona is one of Gaudi’s masterpieces and is one building to not miss when visiting the city. Casa Battlo stands out with its colorful facade. It is a bit strange, yet mesmerizing to look at. To visit such a house is a weird experience…
Antoni Gaudi, an architect & an artist
As you already know, from my previous post on the Park Güell, Antoni Gaudi (1852–1926) was a Spanish architect who’s vision and art can be admired in Barcelona. His most famous creations are La Sagrada Familia, the Park Güell and houses like Casa Mila, Casa Vicens and Casa Batlló. Gaudi is THE architect who embodied the Catalan Modernisme mouvement of the early 20th century. His use of Art Nouveau’s floral & organic forms mixed with revivalist Neo-Gothic architecture is unparalleled. It is a style on its own… Not that many architects, or even artists, can say they represent a style on their own!
Because of Gaudi’s specific style, because his creations became Barcelona’s main landmarks and main tourists attractions, he is one of the very few architects who are famous & revered Worldwide.
Think about it. Architects are rarely treated and given the same considerations as artists.
We often celebrate painters or sculptors. We go to Museum to see their creations. While admiring those, we often pay little attention to the museum that surround such art pieces. We recall the names of some famous painters and proud ourselves for it, but rarely do we recall the names of architects.
To be fair, museums are like jewelry boxes. They are meant to protect the art pieces discreetly and make them shine even brighter. Museums are not there to take front stage.
And with regards to architects, I guess things have changed slightly, at least in the last few decades, as a few of them have reach stardom, either because of their audacity, either because of the dislike we have for their creations. Does this mean some architects have reached a status of artists? Or does it mean we have started to recognize architecture as an art? Dissert! you have 2 hours 😉
Casa Batlló: One of Gaudi’s Masterpieces
In 1904, Gaudi’s started his work on Casa Batlló. Gaudi was already 52 years old. One could consider that he was at the peak of his career. He had gain recognition for his work at the Barcelona World Fair and received an award for the best building of the year from the Barcelona City Council.
Josep Batlló, a rich textile industrialist, bought an apartment block on Passeig de Gracia, a prestigious and fashionable area of Barcelona and hired Gaudi to create a residence like no others. Batlló thought the existing building was to be destroyed but instead Gaudi kept the existing building and ‘only’ refurbished it.
Gaudi therefore transformed a classical building, without remarkable characteristic, into his most complex and complete masterpiece.
The visit of the Casa Batlló
I’m going to break away fro my usual pattern here and instead of showing you just my pictures, I’m showing you a short film I found on Vimeo. It gives a life to Gaudi’s work and does give a better idea of how truly unique & fantastic Casa Batlló is.
If I had not seen it with my own eyes, watching this film would have made me think this house was just a movie set!
So? Would you live in the womb of a dragon?!
Getting on the roof is extraordinary!
The Technical Bits:
The official website where you can book your tickets and organise your visit: www.casabatllo.es
Casa Milà is so close, don’t miss it!
Casa Batlló facade. The little Juliette balcony, on the top floor, is where you will get your picture taken. Smile when you get there!!
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