When in Barcelona...
paying a visit to the many Antoni Gaudí buildings dotted around the city is a staple.
It doesn’t matter if you are not a fan of crowds (there’s always a way to beat tourists in “holiday mode”) or you rather not fork out €15 each time you visit one of his architectural masterpieces. Casa Vicens is a special, one of a kind gem that cannot be missed, no matter what.
When I glance at the façade, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed by the intricate beauty and incredible attention to detail to all aspects of Gaudí’s work. Perhaps what I love the most about Casa Vicens is that its style, although representative of Gaudí’s first bulk of work, is unique in its own right. Out of all of my favourite Gaudí buildings, this one is by far my favourite, there’s something about it that speaks to me on a subconscious level.
Casa Vicens was commissioned in 1877 by Manuel Vicens i Montaner (a stock and currency broker) and built between 1883 and 1885. This was Gaudí’s first private building in Barcelona, also considered as one of the first masterpieces of Modernisme (Catalan Modernism).
Can’t argue with that.
The reason why Casa Vicens is regarded as such a breakthrough piece in the architect’s career is due to the way he played with a variety of design elements, such as protruding and withdrawing elements, lights and shadows, colours and textures and concepts reminiscent of Moorish architecture.
What played the most important role in the design of Casa Vicens was Gaudí’s most notable source of inspiration, nature.
References to natural elements can not only be found in the home’s exterior but it was also brought into the home through a variety of decorative arts such as wrought iron, painting, ceramics, woodworking, murals.
The ultimate goal was to create a sense of continuity between the indoor and outdoor spaces.
All these symbolisms, materials and designs come together in harmony, to delight our senses and daze our feelings for a moment with their intricacy and beauty.
© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by: Pol Viladoms
If you tend to give architectural attractions a miss because of overcrowding, you’ll be happy to know that only 20 people are allowed inside the home for each time slot. Which means you’ll have enough time (and space) to roam around freely, absorb and admire every single detail and effort that went into making this house an incredible piece of the UNESCO World Heritage Site portfolio.
The team behind Casa Vicens recommend visiting Gaudí’s spaces first and leaving the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions until the end, so visitors have the chance to discover Gaudí’s first house and its architecture by making their own observations before moving on to the historical and contextual information.
Casa Vicens opens the 16th November 2017. You can visit it at your own pace (€16) or book a guided tour (€19) of Casa Vicens at www.casavicens.org/buy-tickets/
All images courtesy of © Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photos by: Pol Viladoms