中文

Why is Casa Batlló known as “the house of masks”?

The façade of Casa Batlló is the gateway to a symbolic and fantastic universe that inspires everyone who contemplates it.

Casa Batlló has inspired the imagination of the people of Barcelona ever since Gaudí finished renovating the building in 1906. Since then, it has been popularly baptized with different names, including “the house of masks.”

Origin of the name
The name “the house of masks” originates from the shape of the balconies on the façade of Casa Batlló, which resemble carnival masks. The facade, one of the most surprising and creative in the history of architecture, aroused popular imagination from the first day. Giving rise to other names such as “the house of bones”, “the house of yawns” or “the house of dragon”.

Iron and stone balconies
The balconies consist of cast iron railings, handcrafted from plaster models made by the architect in his Sagrada Familia workshop. They are wavy in shape and have an irregular profile that, at specific points, curls in on itself like a scroll.
The majority of railings have two holes, two holes that resemble those of a mask, which are closed by golden corrugated iron plates.
The railings are fixed to the wall by two cantilevered anchors, which are made of stone, without touching the balcony floor. Gaudí used a lead carbonate pigment to color and protect them, which prevented the iron from rusting.

Inspiration for the balconies
The balconies have also been compared to skulls because of their curved shapes, hollows, and color. The bases of the balconies are made of stone and are shell-shaped, reflecting Gaudí’s marine inspiration.
The upper balcony of the facade, which is in the attic, is very different from the rest. It is much smaller, and its shape is reminiscent of a tulip bulb.

Restoration of the balconies
Due to pollution, the balconies were blackened, being restored for the first time in the 1990s.


In 2019, coinciding with the restoration of the facade, the paint was stripped, damaged areas were volumetrically redone, and the original color was recovered by previously protecting the iron with an antioxidant coating.