Due to open to the public this autumn is a breathtaking and utterly unique home designed by Spanish architect and visionary Antoni Gaudí. Casa Vicens in Barcelona was the first ever private home that Gaudí designed, built by him between 1883 and 1885, as a summer home for real-estate broker Manel Vicens i Montaner. Converted into three flats in the 1920s before later being used as a private family residence, the extensive restoration work that has been undertaken since 2015 will lead to its first opening to the public.
Famed for iconic buildings like the Sagrada Família, the house is a fascinating glimpse into the early evolution of Gaudí’s distinctive style. Whereas later works had a more freewheeling, organic style, the architect’s utterly original take on Gothic and Art Nouveau design language gives Casa Vicens a distinctive style all its own, a style which would have been radical at the time of its building, and still startles today.
Rich panelling, luxurious patterned materials and ornate carving are just some of the details that make up the visually dizzying interior. Walls and ceilings are decorated with frescos and patterns and tiles butt up against each other in typical Gaudí style.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the renovation is being undertaken by architects José Antonio Martínez Lapeña and Elías Torres, of Martínez Lapeña-Torres Architects, and David García of Daw Office, and the house is due to open as a museum in autumn 2017.
For more information about the restoration and history of Casa Vicens, and for information about visiting, see here.