Casa Vicens | Barcelona Bus Turístic

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Casa Vicens

Gaudí’s first major project

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Gaudí was inspired by the flowers in the garden and the activity at the owner’s factory to create a house full of colour in the Gràcia district. Casa Vicens was Antoni Gaudí’s first major project, a commission from a ceramics entrepreneur that gave rise to a Modernista building in an orientalist style covered in stamped tiles.

Why visit Casa Vicens?

Casa Vicens was commissioned in 1878 by Manuel Vicens i Montaner, the owner of a ceramics factory, to a young Antoni Gaudí as a summer house in what was then the independent municipality of Gràcia. It was Gaudí’s first major project and in it the architect, still in his first period, employed an architectural style in which straight lines predominated over curved lines, although, as would be his custom in his subsequent work, he took inspiration from nature to design some of the most significant pieces of the building’s decoration.

Taking advantage of the business activity of the owners of the house, Gaudí used ceramics as the predominant decorative element and designed stamped tiles in green and yellow, taking as the model the French marigolds that were growing on the land. The ornamentation is produced in recognition of the Mudejar legacy, which is also manifested in the angles of the building, avoiding classical rigidity.

The house is structured into four levels, corresponding to a basement cellar, two residential floors and attic rooms for the servants. Gaudí attached the property to the party wall of an old convent, creating a spacious garden, for which he designed a monumental brick fountain. However, in 1925 the architect Joan Baptista Serra expanded the building in the same style that Gaudí had used and significantly reduced the garden. Subsequently, in 1946 part of the land was sold and the fountain was demolished.

Casa Vicens was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.

 

How do you get to Casa Vicens?

The Park Güell stop on the  Blue Route of Barcelona Bus Turísticallows you to reach the Casa Vicens, which is on Carrer de les Carolines, very close to Avinguda del Príncep d’Astúries.

 

For the most curious of you

  • Did you know? Casa Vicens is surrounded by admirable cast iron railings featuring plant motifs. To design this fence, Gaudí made mud models of European fan palm leaves from the garden.
  • Local’s tip: Casa Vicens used to be the only house designed by Gaudí that was not open to the public, as until 2014 it was inhabited. It is worth a look to complete your tour of all the Gaudí buildings in Barcelona.
  • A must: To discover one of the least-known buildings constructed by Gaudí, who was only 31 years old when he received the commission.