Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈkazə βəˈʎːo]) is a building in the center of Barcelona. It was designed by Antoni Gaudí, and is considered one of his masterpieces. A remodel of a previously built house, it was redesigned in 1904 by Gaudí and has been refurbished several times after that. Gaudí's assistants Domènec Sugrañes i Gras, Josep Canaleta and Joan Rubió also contributed to the renovation project.

The local name for the building is Casa dels ossos (House of Bones), as it has a visceral, skeletal organic quality. It is located on the Passeig de Gràcia in the Eixample district, and forms part of a row of houses known as the Illa de la Discòrdia (or Mansana de la Discòrdia, the "Block of Discord"), which consists of four buildings by noted Modernista architects of Barcelona.

Like everything Gaudí designed, Casa Batlló is only ident...Read more

Casa Batlló (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈkazə βəˈʎːo]) is a building in the center of Barcelona. It was designed by Antoni Gaudí, and is considered one of his masterpieces. A remodel of a previously built house, it was redesigned in 1904 by Gaudí and has been refurbished several times after that. Gaudí's assistants Domènec Sugrañes i Gras, Josep Canaleta and Joan Rubió also contributed to the renovation project.

The local name for the building is Casa dels ossos (House of Bones), as it has a visceral, skeletal organic quality. It is located on the Passeig de Gràcia in the Eixample district, and forms part of a row of houses known as the Illa de la Discòrdia (or Mansana de la Discòrdia, the "Block of Discord"), which consists of four buildings by noted Modernista architects of Barcelona.

Like everything Gaudí designed, Casa Batlló is only identifiable as Modernisme or Art Nouveau in the broadest sense. The ground floor, in particular, has unusual tracery, irregular oval windows and flowing sculpted stone work. There are few straight lines, and much of the façade is decorated with a colorful mosaic made of broken ceramic tiles (trencadís). The roof is arched and was likened to the back of a dragon or dinosaur. A common theory about the building is that the rounded feature to the left of centre, terminating at the top in a turret and cross, represents the lance of Saint George (patron saint of Catalonia, Gaudí's home), which has been plunged into the back of the dragon.

In 2005, Casa Batlló became an UNESCO World Heritage Site among the other Works of Antoni Gaudí, and is visited by people from around the world.

History Initial construction (1877)
Antoni Gaudí in 1910

The building that is now Casa Batlló was built in 1877, commissioned by Lluís Sala Sánchez.[1] It was a classical building without remarkable characteristics within the eclecticism traditional by the end of the 19th century.[2] The building had a basement, a ground floor, four other floors and a garden in the back.[3]

Batlló family
The Batlló family

The house was bought by Josep Batlló in 1900. The design of the house made the home undesirable to buyers but the Batlló family decided to buy the place due to its centralized location. It is located in the middle of Passeig de Gràcia, which in the early 20th century was known as a very prestigious and fashionable area. It was an area where the prestigious family could draw attention to themselves.[3]

In 1906 Josep Batlló still owned the home. The Batlló family was very well known in Barcelona for its contribution to the textile industry in the city. Mr. Josep Batlló i Casanovas was a textile industrialist who owned a few factories in the city. Mr. Batlló married Amàlia Godó Belaunzarán, from the family that founded the newspaper La Vanguardia. Josep wanted an architect that would design a house that was like no other and stood out as being audacious and creative. Both Josep and his wife were open to anything and they decided not to limit Gaudí. Josep did not want his house to resemble any of the houses of the rest of the Batlló family, such as Casa Pía, built by the Josep Vilaseca. He chose the architect who had designed Park Güell because he wanted him to come up with a risky plan. The family lived on the Noble Floor of Casa Batlló until the middle of the 1950s.[4]

Renovation (1904-1906)
The atrium; Gaudí convinced Batlló to let him expand the central well of the building to let in light, instead of rebuilding.

In 1904 Josep Batlló hired Gaudí to design his home; at first his plans were to tear down the building and construct a completely new house. Gaudí convinced Josep that a renovation was sufficient and was also able to submit the planning application the same year. The building was completed and refurbished in 1906. He completely changed the main apartment which became the residence for the Batlló family. He expanded the central well in order to supply light to the whole building and also added new floors. In the same year the Barcelona City Council selected the house as a candidate for that year's best building award. The award was given to another architect that year despite Gaudí's design.

Refurbishments

Josep Batlló died in 1934 and the house was kept in order by the wife until her death in 1940 . After the death of the two parents, the house was kept and managed by the children until 1954. In 1954 an insurance company named Seguros Iberia acquired Casa Batlló and set up offices there. In 1970, the first refurbishment occurred mainly in several of the interior rooms of the house. In 1983, the exterior balconies were restored to their original colour and a year later the exterior façade was illuminated in the ceremony of La Mercè.

Multiple uses

In 1993, the current owners of Casa Batlló bought the home and continued refurbishments throughout the whole building.[5] Two years later, in 1995, Casa Batlló began to hire out its facilities for different events. More than 2,500 square meters of rooms within the building were rented out for many different functions. Due to the building's location and the beauty of the facilities being rented, the rooms of Casa Batlló were in very high demand and hosted many important events for the city.

^ Bassegoda i Nonell, Joan (2001). La Casa Butlló (in Spanish). Barcelona: Publicaciones de la Real Cátedra Gaudí. p. 4. Retrieved March 8, 2012. ^ Bassegoda i Nonell, Joan (2001). Los jardines de Gaudí (in Spanish). Edicions UPC. p. 75. ISBN 9788483015384. ^ a b "Works of Antoni Gaudí". Casa Batlló. ^ "Antoni Gaudí Biography". Casa Batlló. ^ In 1999 the elevator was reformed to adapt it to modern standards preserving its original appearance. The project was by Joan Bassegoda Nonell and collaborators Bibiana Sciortino and Mario Andruet.
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