Page C1.1 . 13 November 2002                     
ArchitectureWeek - Culture Department
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Inside Casa Batlló

by Rachel Grossman

The interior of Casa Batlló, an art nouveau masterpiece of Spanish architect Antonio Gaudí, has been one of Barcelona's best-kept secrets. This year, to honor the 150th anniversary of Gaudí's birth, the current owners have opened Casa Batlló to public view for the first time since it was completed nearly a century ago.

The undulating rhythms and the organic imagery of these interiors create the feeling that the house lives and breathes. Spiral forms on the walls and ceilings lend a sensation of movement to the spaces. One Gaudí scholar, Philippe Thiébaut, has even suggested that the rooms of the Batlló apartment unfold like a process of cellular growth.

Originally the architect was asked by the textile magnate Josep Batlló to demolish a nondescript building designed in the 1870s by Emilio Sala Cortés and create a new house. But Gaudí convinced Batlló that he could keep the existing structural framework and remodel it into a masterpiece that would both shock and delight fin de sičcle Barcelona.   >>>

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The Casa Batlló, an art nouveau masterpiece of Spanish architect Antonio Gaudí, in Barcelona.
Great Buildings Photo © Donald Corner and Jenny Young

ArchWeek Image

At the gallery level, the central window of sculpted sandstone.
Photo: Javier Vegas

 

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