It is now a reality: Casa Vicens, the first house designed by Antoni Gaudí, can be visited for the first time after remaining a private residence for more than 130 years. It is the last World Heritage Site building to open to the public in the city of Barcelona.
Casa Vicens will thus complete the list of eight buildings in Barcelona that UNESCO has declared to be of interest cultural for the entire international community, along with the Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, Park Güell, Palau Güell, the Palau de la Música and Hospital Sant Pau. Casa Vicens will offer a cultural tour that is a must-see for anyone interested in learning about the start of Gaudí’s architectural oeuvre.
“In Casa Vicens, Gaudí recreated the figurative worlds that were fashionable at the time, but in a highly personal way. As a whole, it heralds and displays the creative freedom that would become the hallmark of his entire future oeuvre.” ” said the project organizers.
Casa Vicens was built as a summer home between 1883 and 1885 I; it was designed by Gaudí for Manel Vicens I Montaner, a broker-dealer. It is Gaudí’s first building in Barcelona where he was able to display his enormous talent. In Casa Vicens, Gaudí 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.
In addition to being one of the starting points of Gaudí’s career, the architect created an innovative, original work in Casa Vicens which is different to anything that had been built in Catalonia before it. Casa Vicens thus became one of the first examples of the aesthetic renewal of art and architecture which was taking place all around Europe in the late 19th century.
Behind this latest project is MoraBanc, a prominent private family bank in Andorra that embodies family values, which purchased the property in March 2014. Committed to cultural, sports, educational and environmental projects, through Casa Vicens MoraBanc is investing in a benchmark city, Barcelona, with all the sensitivity required of the cultural project and the recovery of the world heritage.
Since it acquired Casa Vicens, MoraBanc has launched a painstaking yet ambitious design project which entails rehabilitating and renovating the property, along with a reflection on its role as part of the local and world-historical heritage.