Anthony Gaudi’s first building in Barcelona, known as Casa Vicens, recently opened as a museum to celebrate the work of the iconic Catalonian artist. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site the rehabilitated building is the perfect setting in which to explore the architect’s work.
Casa Vicens was built as a summer home between 1883 and 1885; it was designed by the 31-year-old Gaudí for Manel Vicens i Montaner (1836-1895), a broker-dealer. It is Gaudi’s first building in Barcelona where he was able to display his enormous talent.
In Casa Vicens, Gaudi recreated the figurative worlds that were fashionable at the time, but in a highly personal way. The house is built following Catalan construction traditions, which the architect interpreted in unexpected ways, while he also incorporated decorative and symbolic elements, also in his highly personal way. As a whole, it heralds and displays the creative freedom that would become the hallmark of his entire future oeuvre.
The main goal of the museology proposal for Casa Vicens is to recover and showcase the original house as designed by Gaudi between 1883 and 1885, given that the building and estate have undergone numerous transformations since they were first built.
With the goal of maintaining the utmost historical and scientific rigor, the design team examined different document sources from the period in order to be as faithful to the original project as possible.
Tours of the house are complemented by a permanent exhibition which will revolve around the following three topics: the history of Casa Vicens, Casa Vicens as an essential expression of Gaudi’s oeuvre, and the house within its social, cultural and artistic context. Casa Vicens also has a series of temporary exhibitions and cultural and educational activities for all audiences.