Event planners, take note! The opening of Barcelona’s Casa Vicens is one of the most anticipated cultural happenings of 2017.
The Antoni Gaudí masterpiece will open its doors to the public for the first time this autumn season. You’ll want to make sure a stop to this home is part of your group’s itinerary. Located in Barcelona’s Gracia neighborhood, the building is the latest UNESCO World Heritage Site to open in the city and is a must-see. It’s the first building completed by the world-renowned architect and an excellent example of Gaudí’s enourmous talent, offering a precursor of the future Art Nouveau or Modernist movement set to take the world by storm.
Built as a summer home between 1883 and 1885 for Manel Vicens Montaner (1836-1895), a prominent broker within the city at the time, the building combined traditional Catalan construction techniques while incorporating unexpected design and decoration. The home, which is reminiscent of Moorish and Oriental styling, is divided into four levels which begin with the basement for storage; followed by the ground floor housing the kitchen, living room and dining room. Bedrooms make up the first floor and the top floor was reserved for the servants’ quarters. The ground floor gallery delightfully blurs the lines of indoor and outdoor living as it opens into the garden connecting it to the main floor of the home. Influences from nature, which are a hallmark of Gaudí design, are found throughout the building. The façade decorated with green and white ceramic tiles featuring French marigolds may be its most striking feature. However, the home’s interior is equally fascinating with numerous examples reflecting nature’s bounty throughout decorated with murals, wrought ironworks and ceramics.
The home has been painstakingly restored to its original splendor in order to showcase Antoni Gaudí’s original design while making the necessary adaptations to house a permanent exhibition. Special restorative attention was given to the home’s gallery on the ground floor. Removing a wall that had closed the dining room to the gardens restored the home’s original flow showcasing views of the outdoors on the main floor. Countless hours were spent recovering original design elements hidden behind false ceilings and walls along with conserving woodwork, ceramic tiling and terrazzo flooring. The end result is a fascinating monument indicative of Gaudí’s genius and his influence on the city of Barcelona and modern architecture.
When planning your group excursion to Casa Vicens, take advantage of Gracia’s proximity to many of the city’s most well-known examples of modernism architecture. Joining Casa Vicens as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is Antoni Gaudí’s equally impressive but entirely unique, Park Güell. Constructed between 1900 and 1910 it has served as a public park since 1926. Columns resembling ancient Greek architecture flank the staircase leading to a gallery which is guarded by a dragon decorated with mosaics. The neighborhood is also home to Torre Sant Jordi, the Casa Gustà, Casa Fuster and Casa Comas d’Argemir which all offer interesting and unique interpretations of Barcelona’s Art Nouveau movement.
Need assistance booking your next group, event or incentive in Barcelona? Trust the Tourist Office of Spain in Chicago to provide all the resources you need.