Casa Batlló makes history in the digital art space: Refik Anadol's NFT auctioned at Christie's

The artpiece, who took its inspiration from Casa Batlló, was auctioned on May 10th for 1,38 million USD (during the great Christie's sales week, where Warhol’s Marilyn was sold for 195 million USD.

“Living Architecture: Casa Batlló” artpiece, is a representation of the iconic Casa Batlló’s façade created by turkish-american director and media artist Refik Anadol, under the institution’s initiative, has raised 1,38 million USD (1,3 million euros) and 10% Will be destined to Associació Aprenem Autisme, and to Fundación Adana, who specialize on neurodivergence support. The piece was part of the auction: 21st Century Evening Sale that took place at Christie’s in New York this past may 10th. Watch the auction’s video here (from 01:40:50).

“Living Architecture: Casa Batlló” has been the only NFT in the in the renowned “Christie’s Spring Marquee Week”auction (9-14 de mayo). The lots include pieces by Warhol (with his “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn”) which broke records in art history with 195 million USD raised, and pieces by Van Gogh, Monet, Rothko, Picasso, Basquiat or Banksy as well. (You can browse the artpieces here)

The auctioned piece is a dynamic NFT, a pioneer artpiece that changes in real time depending on the evironmental data collected in the city and the ephemerides that are celebrated on Casa Batlló’s façade (Sant Jordi, Christmas, social events…). To complete the artpiece’s immersive experience, Firmenich’s digital innovation center, D-LAB, has used the house’s images digital data combined with Barcelona specific olfactive descriptors, to create a unique fragance guided by AI that represents the house’s smell.

Refik Anadol’s « Living Architecture » artwork being auctioned at Christie’s, New York, on May 10th.

According to Gary Gautier, Casa Batlló’s CEO: “Casa Batlló’s commitment with digital art continues in the new platform, where we will shortly show digital sales from invited artists’s collections, having Refik Anadol among them, always linked to donations for neurodiversity-related institutions.”

The pioneer AI artist and digital architect Refik Anadolstates: We live in an advanced technology era, but we don’t know how to remember our past and our heritege in an accurate way yet. And i think this project is a great example of the use of history and heritage, combined with technology and the future. Therefore, one of the reasons why this project is so meaningful is beacuse of its respectful use of historical data, but also because of its combination with future technologies like AI Data, the metaverse, NFTs and blockchain. The result is an excited imagination, where tha past and the future can truly connect.”

Casa Batlló is the first UNESCO World Heritage building that has been reinterpreted in a NFT form, with a pioneer artpiece that changes in real time through AI.

The piece will stay exhibited in Casa Batlló and is included in the cultural visit. It may be added that a great general public enjoyed a mapping version of the piece, which was projected on Casa Batlló’s façade on may 7th before 47.000 attendees

Image of the mapping Refik Anadol projected on the façade of Casa Batlló, on May 7.

A Historic Auction for the Neurodiversity

Casa Batlló is committed to seeking integration and diversity of workers. Since the beginning of 2021, it has had an entire neurodivergent visitor care team of 50+ people (with autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, etc.), thanks to the strategic alliance with social organization Specialisterne. Therefore, a percentage of the donation from the auction of the work will go to two local institutions specialized in comprehensive care and family support for people with neurodivergence: the Aprenem Autisme Association, with an annual attendance of more than 6,000 people working towards the inclusion of people with autism through a family care program, and the Adana Foundation, which offers ongoing treatment to more than 900 children and youth, from early diagnosis to therapeutic plan.