Main facade and building well restoration

Main facade and building well restoration

2000

The restoration of the facade was a veritable surgical operation, and an enormous labour of craftwork requiring scaffolding. The aim was to restore the glass and ceramic tiles to their original multicoloured state.

The cladding of the new facade which had been added by Gaudí had begun to come away from the original. Scaffolding was erected and a detailed inspection of the entire surface was carried out. Any cracks and fissures were identified and raised areas were marked out, and the skin of the building was cleaned and repaired with resin injections.

In some places, the pointing between the tiles and pieces of glass had crumbled and the mosaic had fallen away. A fungicide treatment was applied and the pointing was replaced using the original mortar.

The cracks in some of the larger round tiles were also repaired, and work was carried out on all of the balconies and carved wooden frames.

The Montjuic sandstone was restored with a damp-proofing treatment in order to prevent any changes to the appearance of the stone.

A survey of the cast-iron bars and bases of the balconies was performed, to discover and reproduce the original colours of gold and vanilla.

The scale-like roof tiles which crown the building were overhauled, ensuring that they were well attached to the base and repairing the glaze and any minute cracks.

In terms of the building well, a general and very thorough cleaning of the entire surface of the walls was carried out, the joints between the mosaic tiling were repointed, and some tiles were replaced using original material stored in the house.

All of the wood features connected to the building well were restored: these were melis pine on the interior and chestnut on the exterior. The wood was stripped to bring it back to its original condition, and then several coats of conditioning wax polish and oil-based finishing treatments were applied to it. The original period woodwork in the communal stairwell was restored, along with the peepholes in the doors and various gold-coloured parts.

In the building well, four cement drainpipes which had been installed in the 1950s or 1970s were removed. The drainage system was redirected so that water once again flowed through its original channels inside the apartments, leaving the well clean and returning it to its original appearance.

The worn-out glass panes in the huge central skylight were replaced, and at the same time the rusty ironwork was treated to protect it.

The restoration of exterior gilding was achieved with liquid gold, which is much more resistant to the elements, whereas for interior features gold leaf was used.