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Dive Into Gaudi's First Masterpiece An Inside Look At Casa Vicens

Dive into Gaudi’s First Masterpiece: An Inside Look at Casa Vicens 

by Christian Petzold - updated January 22, 2024

Are you a fan of Antoni Gaudi, or just an architecture aficionado itching to discover something new? Or maybe you’re planning a trip to Barcelona and looking for must-visit sites that are off the beaten path. Well, I’ve got great news for you!

Buckle up and prepare yourself for an exhilarating journey across time and space as we delve into everything there is to know about Casa Vicens. From its history and design philosophy to what makes it stand out in Barcelona’s rich cityscape.

The History and Construction of Casa Vicens

How Casa Vicens Was Made 

A long time ago in Barcelona, a young man named Antoni Gaudí got his first big job. It was 1883, and a rich man named Manuel Vicens i Montaner wanted a new summer home. This was Gaudí’s first big building project.

Building Casa Vicens Gaudí wanted to make the house special. He thought, “Why make something boring when you can make something amazing?”. He used ideas from art in southern Spain and eastern countries. He also used a lot of ceramics in the design. Picture this:

  • A four-story building full of color.
  • Tiles with designs of flowers like the ones Montaner made for his job.
  • A chimney that looks like a tower, because even useful things can be fun.

Casa Vicens Now 

Fast forward to today, after being privately owned for more than 130 years, Casa Vicens became a public place in 2017. When you walk in, it’s like stepping into a storybook. There are bright colors and interesting shapes everywhere. And if you don’t get lost (or too busy taking selfies), you can learn more about Gaudí’s life and work on each floor.

Casa Vicens Frontage

Antoni Gaudi: The Mind Behind Casa Vicens

Antoni Gaudi, a name synonymous with whimsical architecture, was indeed the mastermind behind the enchanting Casa Vicens.

Born in Catalonia, Spain, this man’s imagination knew no bounds. His ideas were as wild and free.
Gaudi designed Casa Vicens. When he was just starting his career.

Casa Vicens wasn’t just any old house though; it was a blend of oriental style with traditional Catalan motifs (I guess you could say he liked mixing things up).

  • Gaudi used colorful tiles for exterior decoration.
  • The interior design featured intricate woodwork paired with vibrant ceramic tiles.
  • He even included lush gardens full of Mediterranean plants around the property!

However, designing Casa Vicens wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns for Antoni Gaudi. It marked the beginning of his struggle to balance between practicality & artistic freedom.

“In Casa Vicens, nature is so much a protagonist that the house becomes something like a tree.”

– Lluis Permanyer, 2017

But despite these challenges, Gaudi’s genius prevailed. Today, Casa Vicens stands proudly in Barcelona, serving as a testament to his tremendous talent.

We may never truly understand what went on in Antoni Gaudi’s mind while designing Casa Vicens or how he managed such marvelous creativity… but one thing is sure: we’re incredibly glad that whatever it was led him down this path!

Exploring the Interiors of Casa Vicens

The ground floor of this architectural masterpiece features a surprise: a smoking room replete with Oriental motifs.

  • A beautiful domed ceiling resembling an inverted mushroom
  • Walls adorned with cast-iron palm leaves
  • Papier-mâché tiles inspired by hookah smoke patterns

If walls could talk, these would surely regale us with tales of high society puffing on exotic tobaccos beneath this fantastical canopy.

“Casa Vicens is an anthology of decorative elements; it doesn’t let your eyes rest.”

– Mireia Freixa in 2022

Venturing upstairs reveals Gaudi’s playful side as he flirted with asymmetry and experimentation.

In one bedroom, sunlight streams through stained glass windows casting rainbow shadows across ornate ceramic tiles. In another room, vibrant parrots are painted mid-flight against a sky-blue backdrop.

Note: Don’t leave without peeking inside the bathroom – where even mundane tasks become extraordinary.

Gardens and Outdoor Spaces of Casa Vicens

Casa Vicens is a beautiful building in Barcelona. It’s not just the building itself that’s amazing – the gardens are stunning too. You’ll find a mix of local and exotic plants that make the garden special.
The main garden, called ‘Jardin Oriental’, has lots of different plants carefully arranged to look beautiful. Picture yourself standing by tall palm trees with bright hibiscus flowers all around you. 

“Casa Vicens isn’t just a building but an expression of personality—a youthful shout from its creator [Gaudí].”

– Joan Bassegoda Nonell, 2021

But that’s not all. There’s also a rooftop terrace at Casa Vicens. It has seats where you can rest and look out over the city. Some people might think rooftops are only for boring stuff, but not this one.

Terrace Vicens Frontage

You see, the architect Gaudi didn’t just design a building; he made sure every part of it was beautiful, even the rooftop and gardens.

Restoration and Current Use of Casa Vicens

Casa Vicens was a private house for over 130 years, but in November 2017, it was opened for everyone to see.

Fixing it up was hard work. It took a long time for experts to bring back the original look that was hidden by changes made by previous owners. They carefully worked on:

  • Beautiful designs
  • Bright and colorful surfaces
  • Old furniture that was made to look new again

Today, Casa Vicens stands out among newer buildings. It looks like something from a different time.

People love to take pictures there, and you can even get a tour of the pretty rooms and gardens. There are also classes where you can learn about art history right where it happened. And if you get hungry or thirsty, there’s a nice little café where you can eat and enjoy the view.

UNESCO World Heritage Status of Casa Vicens

Casa Vicens is a special house in Barcelona, Spain. It’s full of bright colors and interesting designs. Some parts even look like they’re from a fairy tale! It’s been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which means it’s as important as some of the world’s greatest art.

Here’s why it’s so important:

  • It’s like a great piece of art: It’s not easy to get this special UNESCO name. The house has to be as amazing as famous paintings like the ‘Mona Lisa’.
  • It’s got a famous designer: Antoni Gaudí, a very famous architect, designed it. Even though it was one of his first works, it’s still full of his special style.
  • It’s got fun and exciting features: It’s got bright colors, fun shapes, and even chimneys that look like candy.

So, Casa Vicens is not just a pretty house. It’s a big part of history and art. If you’re ever talking about cool things with your friends or on a date, you can tell them about this house. It’s as special as some of the most famous paintings in the world.

Visiting Casa Vicens: Practical Information 

Before setting off on your adventure to Casa Vicens, getting practical information about how to get there is essential.

The quickest way to get there is usually via metro (L3 line), alighting at either Fontana or Lesseps stations. 

Once you’ve navigated your way through Barcelona’s urban jungle and arrived at this architectural gem, entrance fees play another crucial role.

  • The standard ticket price for adults is 16 Euros.
In Front Of Casa Vicens

Here the doors close before midnight. The opening hours of Casa Vicens are from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm during summer (1st April-30th October) and from 10:00 am to 6 pm during winter(1st November- 31st March).

Plan so your visit isn’t just once upon a time but truly an unforgettable experience.

Experiencing Casa Vicens: A Tour Review

The Tour Experience:

Walking through the doors of Casa Vicens is like stepping into another world – one filled with whimsy and wonder. The tour guides are not your typical museum historians; they’re more like storytellers who bring Gaudi’s vision to life with their descriptions.

  • The ‘smoking room’, designed for socializing over cigars, feels straight out of Alice in Wonderland.
  • In contrast, the dining room captures nature in stunning detail – from palm leaf designs on walls to mushroom-shaped pillars.

A Deeper Dive:

What makes touring Casa Vicens so fascinating isn’t just its bold aesthetic appeal or creative genius on display. Rather it lies in interpreting each piece as part of an intricate puzzle that represents Gaudí’s philosophy.

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Casa Vicens is an architecturally significant building in Barcelona, Spain. Designed by renowned Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, it’s his first major work showcasing the unique style which later became synonymous with modernist architecture. It’s currently a museum offering insights into Gaudí’s innovative vision and design principles.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Did you know?

Casa Vicens, an architectural gem in Barcelona, is a riotous explosion of color and creativity. Designed by the famed Antoni Gaudí in his early twenties, this building marked his first major project and laid the groundwork for his later masterpieces.

Like many of Gaudí’s works, Casa Vicens draws heavily from nature. Its dazzling design features ceramic tiles inspired by local Mediterranean flora. You can see palm leaves, marigolds, and French marigolds adorning its walls – a testament to Gaudí’s love for blending architecture with natural elements.

And here’s something intriguing: it was originally designed as a summer home! Manuel Vicens I Montaner commissioned Gaudí to build this oasis away from the hustle-bustle of city life. Imagine lounging in such a spectacular retreat! It only opened up for public viewing recently in 2017 after serving as a private residence for over 130 years.

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