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 Essential Architecture-  Barcelona

Casa Batllo


Antoni Gaudi




1905 to 1907


Art Nouveau 




Casa Batlló

The arched roof and complex chimney detailing
Casa Batlló (pronounce Casa Batyo) is a building designed by Antoni Gaudi and built in years 1905–1907; located at 43, Passeig de Gràcia (passeig is Catalan for promenade or avenue), part of the Illa de la Discòrdia in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

The local name for the building is Casa dels ossos (house of bones), and indeed it does have a visceral, skeletal organic quality. It was originally designed for a middle-class family and situated in a prosperous district of Barcelona.

The building looks very remarkable — like everything Gaudi designed, only identifiable as Modernisme or Art Nouveau in the broadest sense. The ground floor, in particular, is rather astonishing with tracery, irregular oval windows and flowing sculpted stone work.

It seems that the goal of the designer was to avoid straight lines completely. Much of the façade is decorated with a mosaic made of broken ceramic tiles (trencadís) that starts in shades of golden orange moving into greenish blues. The roof is arched and was likened to the back of a dragon or dinosaur. A common theory about the building is that the rounded feature to the left of centre, terminating at the top in a turret and cross, represents the sword of Saint George, which has been plunged into the back of the dragon.