Casa Batlló

Antoni Gaudí's Casa Batlló

Gaudi's early masterpiece Casa Batlló (1904-1906)

sted
Barcelona, Spain
Kasper Christiansen
Text & photos: Kasper Christiansen
6th of April, 2020 (revised version)

Antoni Gaudí's Casa Batlló is one of the most important monuments in the city of Barcelona. Casa Batlló was built for the Batlló family from 1904 to 1906. The use fully developped use pf glazed tiles and undulating forms appear here for the first time in the work of Antoni Gaudí. The house is a restauration of a former building, but the transformation process is so thorough that very little is left of the original structure.

Palau Güell
Casa Batlló at night time

 

Casa Batlló - the story behind Gaudí's building

The construction of Casa Batlló means a new climax in the work of Antoni Gaudí. The work is a tour de force of Art Nouveau architecture and craftmanship combining marble, glass mosaics, glazed tiles, mosaics and sculpture.

The building contains numerous references to Catalan culture. Gaudí told one of his workers that the house was a reference to the story about Sant Jordi (in English: Saint George) and the Dragon. This means that the house can be seen as a metaphor for the body of the dragon, the roof being the bag of the dragon and the balconies being the sculls of the people that the dragon has eaten.

Palau Güell
Vaults and staircase in Casa Batlló

The building goes up againt traditional architectural thinking: it is far from the traditional box - here, for the first time, Gaudí creates a radically different architecture, inspired by organic forms. There are virtually no right angles, and organic and geometric shapes such as twsted arcs, paroboles and hyperbolic paraboloids become dominant.

For Gaudí, nature is ultimately a picture of the divine creation - nature is the work of God and thus nature is like "an open book" that every architect should study, as Gaudí put it. Casa Batlló uses glazed tiles and undulating movement in the facade for the first time.

 

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