Holidaying in Barcelona? You can’t miss this Gaudi masterpiece turned museum

NOV 16, 2017 | By Tasneem Merchant
CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT Spot old ceramic tiles and wood blending in, within each room; Vibrant colours, turrets and tiles set the tone for this Gaudi museum; Antoni Gaudi’s Casa Vicens has been restored to its former glory.
Photograph courtesy Casa Vicens s.

Heritage needs preservation, after all, it is an icon of the times gone by, the identity of our present and to an extent, the influencer of our future. Monuments symbolize landmarks a nation has crossed and times its people have endured. They are also an inspiration to artists.

One such edifice that fuelled the imaginative fires of scores of creatives is Spanish maestro Antoni Gaudi’s Casa Vicens in Barcelona. When the glory days of this spectacular structure had faded, it fell into disrepair. The summer home for Manel Vicens I Montaner was built over a period of two years from 1883-85 by a 31-year-old Antoni. The Asset of National Cultural Interest, as it was declared in 2014, was also an experiment, where the architect moved away from his usual style, incorporating turrets, arches and towers for this three sided residence showing influences of oriental architecture.

In 2015, MoraBanc bought over the property with the intention of converting it into a museum and roped in architects Jose Antonio Martinez Lapena, Elias Torres and David Garcia to come up with a conservation plan. This included restoring ceramic tiles, developed using the ancient “terpa” technique, reflecting marigolds and dianthus motifs – flowers that were found in abundance in the surrounding garden. The 34 Torrescana paintings on canvas were also revived by skilled artists.