Secret Gaudí: 5 works to discover by the Catalan architect in Barcelona
Not only Sagrada Familia or Parc Güell: there are several projects by Gaudí in Barcelona that are little known to the public, if you love the Catalan architect there are several realizations to see.
Casa Vicens (1883-1888)
Gaudí's first major assignment in Barcelona was the design of a summer villa located outside the Barcelona of the time: Casa Vicens. The project was commissioned by the ceramic manufacturer Manuel Vicens, including a house and a large garden, with a waterfall and a pond, which have now disappeared. Red bricks, ceramic coverings, plaster applications, decorative paints and wrought iron work are the main elements with which Gaudí decorated the house, highlighting the elaborate ornaments. The house is currently not open to visitors, but restoration work is being carried out to make it accessible to the public in the near future.
Address: Carrer de las Carolinas, 18
Pavilions of the Finca Güell (1884-1887)
Pavilions of the Finca Guell
Eusebi Güell commissioned Gaudí to design the access area to his finca - a villa with a large garden around it. The architect realized the project by creating two pavilions with a marked Mudejar character, the typical style of the Arab domination in Spain, usual in his first projects. One of the two pavilions was used as a stable, and was elaborated with parabolic arches and a brick vault. The other pavilion was used as the custodian's residence. Both buildings are joined by a spectacular wrought iron door, representing a dragon, symbol of the estate's custody. This is the first job entrusted by Eusebi Güell to the young architect, marking the beginning of a long relationship between the two. The pavilions can be visited for a fee, if you have the Barcelona Card or the Bus Turístic discount booklet you can get a reduction at the entrance.
Address: Avinguda de Pedralbes, 7
College of the Teresians (1888-1889)
Il College of the Teresians it is a four-storey rectangular building: from the outside it looks more like a fortress than a school. Instead, once you enter, you have to change your mind: bright, with large rooms distributed regularly, which made it possible to house a college, a boarding school and a convent of nuns. The whole building exudes the austerity of the Teresian Order and the functional sense of Gaudí's work: built with stone and brick, the severity of these materials contrasts with the formal and compositional richness of the reliefs of the upper part of the building, the refined ceramic cladding and the wrought iron work, all full of symbolism. The building is still used today as a school, so it cannot be visited inside.
Address: Carrer Ganduxer, 85
Casa Calvet (1898-1899)
Casa Calvet on the left
When the Calvet family of industrialists decided to build a new residence in Barcelona, they had no doubt in commissioning one of the most famous architects of the time to design a building in one of the most fashionable areas: the Eixample. Gaudí designed the building following the typical model of the houses of the period: a space for the commercial activities of the family, another for the Calvet family, and other apartments to rent. The result was very welcome by the client and enthused the Municipality of Barcelona, which awarded Casa Calvet as the best building of the year in 1900. Gaudí also designed the furniture for the private residence of the Calvets, some of which are located in the Casa Museo Gaudí, at the inside the Parc Güell. The commercial premises on the ground floor have now become a restaurant, Casa Calvet.
Address: Carrer de Casp, 48
Bellesguard Tower (1900-1909)
The Bellesguard Tower is actually a villa, located in a scenic area of Barcelona, hence the name. The battlements and the tower that rise from this house are reminiscent of those of a medieval fortification, but the external austerity contrasts with the width and brightness of the interior, of which the particular technical solutions adopted for the ceiling. The conical tower is covered with glazed ceramic, with the colors of the Catalan flag reminiscent of the building of Martí I, the last king of the Barcelona branch of the crown of Aragon, who once lived on this land. The building, still owned by the family who commissioned it to Gaudí, is open to the public. For more information read the complete guide to the Bellesguard Tower.