The Last Word

Singapore Tatler Homes - - OCT/NOV ISSUE -

It’s hard to imag­ine Barcelona with­out the Sagrada Família and other iconic land­marks de­signed by An­toni Gaudí, whose oeu­vre con­tin­ues to in­spire and fas­ci­nate de­sign afi­ciona­dos and ar­chi­tects alike. With the Casa Vi­cens now open to the pub­lic, vis­i­tors will fi­nally get to ex­plore the first house that Gaudí built, over 130 years af­ter its com­ple­tion. Orig­i­nally en­vi­sioned as a sum­mer home, this UNESCO World Her­itage site has un­der­gone nu­mer­ous changes—the com­plex has been ex­panded from a sin­gle-fam­ily abode to a multi­gen­er­a­tional home, and even di­vided into in­de­pen­dent apart­ments over the years. Led by ar­chi­tects José An­to­nio Martínez Lapeña, Elías Tor­res and David Gar­cía, the restora­tion project un­cov­ers nat­u­ral el­e­ments that were in­te­grated into the fa­cade and its myr­iad dec­o­ra­tive de­tails—it was Gaudí’s way of bring­ing na­ture into the house. Casa Vi­cens also of­fers in­sight into the famed ar­chi­tect’s ini­tial projects, and the ways he cel­e­brated and in­te­grated the var­i­ous dec­o­ra­tive arts, es­pe­cially through the trompe l’oeil-ef­fect mu­rals, as well as the ori­en­tal de­tail­ing and botan­i­cal mo­tifs pic­tured on wood­work, ceramic tiles and wrought iron. With its in­tri­cate or­na­men­ta­tion now beau­ti­fully re­stored, the build­ing is now as much as an ode to Cata­lan crafts­man­ship, as it is a trib­ute to mod­ern ar­chi­tec­ture.

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