The First House That Gaudí Built Will Open to the Public This Fall


Great news, Gaudí fans: Starting this fall, there will be a new way to experience one of the famed architect’s works. Casa Vicens, formerly a private residence, will open to the public as a museum.

Born in 1852, Antoni Gaudí was a Catalan architect best known for the “Modernisme” style, a movement associated with the search for Catalan national identity in Spain, and which paralleled the Art Deco period in other parts of the world. If you’ve visited Barcelona, you’ve likely seen some of his most famous works: The colorful mosaics in Park Güell, the wavy exterior of Casa Milà, and the stunning (and yet still unfinished) Gothic cathedral that is La Sagrada Familia.

Casa Vicens is also a must see, and not only because of its ornate façade. The property, which was built by Gaudí between 1883 and 1885, is the first house designed by the architect (and his first building completed in Barcelona).

The property was originally built for real-estate broker Manel Vicens i Montaner as a summer home, and it’s been a residence up until now. In the 1920s, it was converted into three apartments, and then converted back to a single family and used as such for almost a century.

MoraBanc bought the UNESCO Heritage site in 2014, and the building been undergoing renovations for its transformation into a museum since 2016, led by architects José Antonio Martínez Lapeña and Elías Torres, of Martínez Lapeña-Torres Arquitectes, and David García of Daw Office.

“In Casa Vicens, Gaudí recreated the figurative worlds that were fashionable at the time, but in a highly personal way,” they told Dezeen. “As a whole, it heralds and displays the creative freedom that would become the hallmark of his entire future oeuvre.”

Casa Vicens is slated to open in the fall of 2017.

If you’re planning a trip to Barcelona, be sure to check out our Design Destination guide.

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