architecture

Gaudí's First Barcelona Building Is Becoming a Museum

After more than a century as a private residence, the brightly-colored Casa Vicens will soon be open to the public.
May 26, 2017, 5:10pm
© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by Pol Viladoms

The turquoise-encrusted facade of renowned Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí's Casa Vicens is set to welcome the public for the first time as a newly-renovated museum. Built from 1883–1885, Casa Vicens is the first private residence Gaudí designed, but will be the last of his Barcelona icons to be made public when it opens this fall.

Developers have been working to restore the building to Gaudí's original vision since September 2016, while also updating it to meet modern health and safety codes. "We are trying to ensure that the first private home designed by Gaudi meets the highest accessibility standards by the time it opens its doors to the general public while respecting as closely as possible the original design executed in 1883," says Joan Abellà, Casa Vicens' manager, in an interview with El Periòdic de Andorra. "This is by no means a simple task."

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Led by David Architecture Workshop and José Antonio Martínez Lapeña and Elías Torres Architects, the project involves reversing a century of wear and tear on Gaudí's accents and the artwork contained within the house, as well as renovations from the 1920s that transformed the home into three separate apartments.

© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by Pol Viladoms

© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by Pol Viladoms

© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by Pol Viladoms

© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by Pol Viladoms

© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by Pol Viladoms

Gaudí is known for incorporating ornate ceramics, wrought iron, and stained glass for a unique blend of Catalan construction traditions, art nouveau, and gothic architecture. Casa Vicens, Commissioned as a summer home by wealthy broker Manel Vicens i Montaner, is a prime example of his Orienalist period. Along with the under-construction Sagrada Familia, this early work is one of seven Gaudí-designed buildings around Barcelona to be preserved as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Learn more about the restoration process here, and c heck out the progress on Casa Vicens' development in the images below.

© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by Pol Viladoms

© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by Pol Viladoms

© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by Pol Viladoms

© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by Pol Viladoms

© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by Pol Viladoms

© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by Pol Viladoms

© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by Pol Viladoms

© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by Pol Viladoms

© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by Pol Viladoms

© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by Pol Viladoms

© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by Pol Viladoms

© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by Pol Viladoms

© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by Pol Viladoms

© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by Pol Viladoms

Casa Vicens opens this autumn. Learn more about the building on the official website.

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