antecedentes-casa-batllo

The building

Casa Batlló, located in the very heart of Passeig de Gràcia, is a statement of delight. It is a universe of symbolism, a canvas of marine inspiration, a dream world, which evokes nature with its organic elements and is suggestive of fantasy.

Quite apart from its artistic value, the building is extremely functional, in a way that is much more typical of the present than of the past. There are even those who see elements in it which are precursors of the vanguard of late 20th century architecture.

It stands out because of its organic forms, the innovation of the concepts employed, and the methodology used.

THE FACADE

On the Noble Floor, Gaudí included a huge gallery - to see and be seen - which projects several metres out over Passeig de Gràcia. He also added large oval-shaped feature windows. He inserted stone columns in the shape of bones, and balconies in the shape of masks (or could they be bats?). The building is crowned with a spectacular roof which, being composed of large scales,
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Casa Batlló, located in the very heart of Passeig de Gràcia, is a statement of delight. It is a universe of symbolism, a canvas of marine inspiration, a dream world, which evokes nature with its organic elements and is suggestive of fantasy.

Quite apart from its artistic value, the building is extremely functional, in a way that is much more typical of the present than of the past. There are even those who see elements in it which are precursors of the vanguard of late 20th century architecture.

It stands out because of its organic forms, the innovation of the concepts employed, and the methodology used.

THE FACADE

On the Noble Floor, Gaudí included a huge gallery – to see and be seen – which projects several metres out over Passeig de Gràcia. He also added large oval-shaped feature windows. He inserted stone columns in the shape of bones, and balconies in the shape of masks (or could they be bats?). The building is crowned with a spectacular roof which, being composed of large scales, looks like a dragon’s back. It also has a tower, and rising from this is a cross with four arms pointing north, south, east and west.

The entire facade is tiled with a mosaic composed of pieces of glass and ceramic discs, giving an undulating surface. The final result is there for all to see: an overwhelming, evocative and suggestive masterpiece which has been known and admired for over a century. Myth or legend, Monet’s water lilies, a carnival expressed in the masks, the confetti effect, the roof like a Harlequin’s hat, Saint George striking down the dragon, the sword, the skulls…

THE NOBLE FLOOR
Casa Batlló
This is the former residence of the Batlló family. Covering more than 700 square metres, it is the main dwelling in the building.

It is accessed via a splendid private entrance hall which puts the visitor in mind of Captain Nemo’s underwater caves, with skylights which look like tortoises’ shells, vaulted walls in curving shapes and a spectacular staircase.

The carved banister, made from fine hardwood, represents the spine of some huge animal. Once you reach the Noble Floor, you come to a spacious landing with direct views towards the blue tiling of the building well. On the Passeig de Gràcia side is Mr Batlló’s former study, as well as a festejador, a perfect secluded spot for courting couples tucked away in the romantic mushroom-shaped fireplace, which is flanked by a bench on either side, one for the chaperone and the other for the couple being chaperoned.

Next you come to the main suite which, with its three interconnected rooms, is like a shop window display onto Passeig de Gràcia, with huge windows which let the light in. Gaudí created large oak doors with organic shapes into which are set panes of stained glass. These doors, as well as separating the three rooms, allow a single light-filled space to be created. The ceiling is wavy, in allusion to the sea. It features an ingenious whirlpool effect which Gaudí achieved using an esparto plaster filling and which evokes the power of the sea.

THE LOFT
This is one of the most unusual spaces, and is a delightful combination of the aesthetic and the functional. It was formerly a service area for the tenants of the various apartments in the building and housed laundry rooms, storage areas, etc.

It is characterised by the simplicity of its shapes, its Mediterranean influence through the use of the colour white, and its all-pervading light. It features a series of 60 catenary arches, creating a space which evokes the ribcage of an animal – perhaps the dragon which sits above it, on the roof terrace, which is accessed by spiral stairs.

THE ROOF TERRACE
Closer to the celestial sphere, Gaudí used his ingenuity, imagination and creativity in abundance. This is an area of great poetic value, which enjoys excellent views over Barcelona. It is a universe of shapes, figures and textures.

It is dominated by what is affectionately known as the dragon’s back, which sets the facade apart. Gaudí represents an animal’s spine using tiles of different colours on one side, and coloured using the trencadís mosaic technique on the side facing inwards towards the roof terrace.

In addition, the roof is decorated with four chimney stacks – sinuous, stylised and polychromatic, in an endless flirtation with the heavens – which are cleverly designed to prevent backdraughts (another example of functionality!).

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May 2017
Tuesday
23
Open 9h to 21h
(last entry 20:00h)