El Capricho

This house belonging to Máximo Díaz de Quijano, brother-in-law of the Marquis of Comillas, was designed by Gaudí in the town of Comillas, in the historical region of Cantabria. One of his youthful projects, Gaudí was 31 years old when he built it, and it does not yet display many of the construction techniques which would characterise his later work.

It was given the name “El Capricho” in reference to, and drawing an analogy with, the free and capricious style of the musical work by the same name.

The structure is simple and traditional, with a U-shaped ground plan and a graceful tower not unlike a Persian minaret. What sets it apart is its facade, which is bursting with energy and colour.

This is a work of great originality and fantasy, in which Moorish influences are very much in evidence, for example in the intense combination of materials such as brickwork, tiles, wrought iron, etc.

Sunflowers provide the main decorative motif.