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Up to date: fifth September 2023
Barcelona is likely one of the finest cities to go to in Spain for good motive. The Catalan capital serves up every thing you want for the proper metropolis break: central sandy seashores, acclaimed foods and drinks, a clutch of world-class museums and a number of the most inventive and distinctive structure on the planet. And for that, we should thank Antoni Gaudí – the mastermind behind a number of the metropolis’s most well-known sights.
Of these, one actually stands out in sharing the story of the late architect: Casa Batlló. Whereas not as huge as Park Güell or as imposing as La Sagrada Familia, the intricate consideration to element and eccentric touches inside this remodelled and just lately renovated household house left me in awe. A way more intimate expertise than the hovering ceilings of the cathedral, right here I actually felt in a position to perceive the influences and (some) of the inside workings of Gaudí’s visionary creative thoughts.
And since 2022, that activity has change into a bit simpler for guests, because of a forward-thinking interactive expertise that brings Casa Batlló to life like by no means earlier than. From multimedia projections sharing Gaudï’s childhood inspirations to new up to date installations crafted by worldwide artists, a tour of this attractive house is rather more than simply seeing – however why is that this residence wedged between two fairly bland facades so essential?
Antoni Gaudí’s architectural imprint in Barcelona
With greater than a dozen of Gaudí’s architectural wonders dotted round Barcelona, the legacy of the good Catalonian structure greater than lives on within the metropolis. Of those, some have earned Unesco status, and a trio of central marvels, particularly, are staples on any go to to Spain’s second metropolis: La Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, and, in fact, Casa Batlló.
However to know why this house on Passeig de Gràcia, one of many metropolis’s most elegant boulevards, has change into so intricately related to the architect, we’ve got to hint his life and research – for Casa Batlló was truly initially constructed by one among his professors, Emilio Sala Cortés.
Gaudí was born in 1852 in Reus, Spain (south of Barcelona, close to Tarragona), and his ardour for design is alleged to have been nurtured in his father’s workshop. Nevertheless, as a result of poor well being in his youth, he would spend lengthy intervals caught inside, and this window is usually cited as when a lot of his curiosity in nature and shapes was shaped. After shifting to Barcelona, Gaudí began his structure research correct, the place his inventive and distinctive concepts blossomed. Rapidly after graduating, commissions of all sizes arrived, leading to most of the quite a few architectural masterpieces that also stand – and in maybe essentially the most well-known case, are nonetheless being accomplished – at the moment.
The remodelling of Casa Batlló by Gaudí in a modernist model came about between 1904 and 1906. By then, it had been offered to the Batlló household and was now not owned by his former professor. With the liberty to revamp the constructing at his whim, Gaudí created one thing actually particular inside – and certainly, outdoors – these partitions. Maybe it was that freedom that made me really feel like the house was rather more related to the architect himself as I explored the various marvellous rooms.
That’s to not say the constructing hasn’t developed and adjusted over the century since, and numerous changes have occurred. And so, it’s fairly becoming that final 12 months, on the one hundred and seventieth anniversary of Gaudí’s delivery, Casa Batlló once more sought a brand new inventive technique to current the house to guests.
Casa Batlló’s new award-winning interactive expertise
Combining the unique visionary works of Antoní Gaudí with fashionable artists, comparable to architect Kengo Kuma (most well-known for his work on Japan’s Olympics or in Kochi) and modern-media inventive Refik Anadol, Casa Batlló’s new expertise has taken inventive, daring steps.
On the 75-minute interactive tour, you’ll stroll via a few of Gaudí’s grandest creations in the home: The Noble Ground with its butterfly-like home windows, the ‘Dragon’s Stomach’ hallway, the just lately restored Essential Corridor, the blue tiled lightwell, and the cityscape views from the fanciful rooftop. However all of that is accompanied by loads of new interactive touches, weaving in Gaudí’s inspiration en route.
Ranging from the absolutely immersive ‘Gaudí Dôme’, the place the architect’s childhood inspiration of nature envelops the house, via to Refik Anadol’s 360-degree enveloping lightroom, the ‘Gaudí Dice’, every thing has been designed to thrill the senses. Anadol can be the mastermind behind the ‘Dwelling Structure’ presentation, projected onto Casa Batlló by evening.
Different highlights embrace Kengo Kuma’s shimmering rain-like descent to the basement, which brings one other inventive aspect to the dwelling’s story, as does Dani Howard’s compositions, along with her soundtrack accompanying the tour. Augmented Actuality Tablets improve the expertise by offering interactive and informative content material, and by the top of the expertise, you gained’t simply really feel such as you’ve visited Casa Batlló however maybe inside a part of Gaudí’s genius thoughts, too.
Plan your go to to Casa Batlló
Tickets will be introduced online in advance through the official web site, and you may benefit from the 75-minute expertise each day throughout visiting hours: 9 AM to eight PM, with the ultimate entry at 7:15 PM. Entry for kids as much as 12 years is complimentary.
All through the summer time months, ‘Magic Nights’ are hosted, which embrace a go to to Casa Batlló, adopted by a night live performance.
After visiting Casa Batlló and a few of Gaudí’s different well-known websites, don’t neglect to try to hunt down a few of Spain’s hidden gems too – this architect’s designs may need primarily been restricted to Catalonia. Nevertheless, he has a few different works across the nation, together with in León, Spain.