I’ve already written a post about Antonin Gaudí’s first major commission in Barcelona, Spain – the Palau Güell. The Catalan architect’s work are on prominent display all around Barcelona – and one that should not be missed is the whimsical Casa Batlló.
This home, also known locally as the Casa dels ossos (House of Bones) for its bone-like shapes, was reworked by Gaudí in 1904 from a previous building, which stood on the elegant Passeig de Gràcia.
The building’s exterior is spectacular, decorated with designs of broken ceramic tiles -called trencadís – employed often by Gaudí. the effect is beautiful, as the ceramic shards catch the light.
It’s interesting to see just how much Gaudí’s style changed between the Palau Güell and this commission. The Casa Batlló reflects his later work and creativity. Like many of his later projects, the Casa Batlló appears to have no straight lines.
This post to the left shows a segment from Casa Batlló’s roof – a section called the dragon’s back. Again, the rooftop displays the trencadís Gaudí used so often.
The house was purchased by Josep Batlló, who grew wealthy in the textile industry, in 1900. He wanted a home that looked completely original, and he hired Antonin Gaudí to carry out that wish.
Gaudí’s projects always called for an abundance of light. One of the first changes he made was to expand the home’s central skylight, and to open up the rooms to this large light source. He also added floors to the building.
In 1906, Josep Batlló got his wish – the completion of a stunningly original house on the Passeig de Gràcia, already known as an elegant street in early 20th century Barcelona. Batlló lived in the home until his death in 1934, and his widow and, later, children continued to live in the family residence until 1954.
Today, the Casa Batlló is open to visitors daily, yearlong, from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. Tickets can be purchased at the building, or online in advance, through the web site. Ticket prices are rather steep, with adults 21. 50 euro and youth (7-18) at 18.50 euro. Children under 7 are free.