Wander Passeig de Gracia and you’ll find a whole crowd of tourists crowded around an otherworldly building, covered in cerulean mosaics and eerie balconies. If you hadn’t guessed already, it’s a Gaudí masterpiece named Casa Batlló which has since been declared a UNESCO world heritage site. Here are some facts about Casa Batlló for you to take with you on your visit…
Locals sometimes refer to this architectural masterpiece as Casa dels ossos, which translates to house of bones. The name derives from the building’s skeletal looking windows, true to Gaudi’s love of organic structures.
When Gaudi was hired to spruce up the building, he installed a brand new facade made of glass and stone. It brings to mind natural elements and a distinctly aquatic feel, befitting for the seaside capital.
From the bowed balcony supports to the undulating roof (which is said to look like the spine of a dragon), Gaudi played with curves where possible. Even the interiors of the house are designed with this mindset, with sloping roofs and spiral staircases.
Casa Batlló was bought by Josep Battló in 1900, however he commissioned the famous architect to spruce things up a bit. Gaudí took on the project and transformed it into what it is now today, subdividing it into apartments, adding its distinctive facade and constructing an additional floor amongst other things. Renovations weren’t completed until 1906.
Casa Batlló has thrown open its doors to the public and that also includes allowing people to hold special functions in its unique function rooms. You can choose from a selection or rooms: the noble floor, roof terrace, loft, Jujol room or even the chimneys. (Imagine getting married in a UNESCO World Heritage Site.)
While this might sound like a bit of a boring fact, it’s actually quite indicative of Gaudi’s architectural genius. The building well – the gigantic well-lit room painted shades of blue – was designed so that the room would be lit evenly which is why the paint tones grow lighter and lighter as the wall goes down.
Renovations on the building were completed in 1906 and after investing so much time and money in the house, it only makes sense the Batllós would want to spend a long while there. They eventually moved out in the 1950s.