Casa Battlo's new facade

The new old face of Casa Batlló

The city of Barcelona is easily associated with Antoni Gaudí – architect of the Sagrada Familia – and its wonderful art nouveau buildings. Although every corner of the Catalan capital is embellished by this architectural masterpieces, there’s one particular spot that comes to mind straight away: the avenue Paseo de Gràcia.

The “Quadrat d’Or” (the Golden Square) is a part of the Eixample district located around this avenue. It’s home, among others, of Gaudí’s houses Casa Milà a.k.a La Pedrera and Casa Batlló. Fortunately for you, we propose fascinating holiday apartment in this part of Barcelona located a stone’s throw away from the house.

The latter recently knew a “youth therapy”, which precluded some unfortunate tourists and locals from contemplating its majestic façade from 15 February to 23 May 2019. But every happens for a reason and Casa Batlló’s team did an excellent job documenting the refurbishment process on the various social media channels they use and website. Thanksfully, the scaffoldings have been removed aned you can now enjoy Casa Batllo’s new façade.

 

 

Some history

 

In 1904, the textile magnate Josep Batlló – hence the name of the house – employed Gaudí to reshape the building he built 40 years earlier. In 1860, the city went through a total transformation following the urban planning of Ildefonso Cerdà. Paseo de Gràcia was then turned into the main axis the Eixample district. This inspired Gaudí to adapt to spectacular mutation of the city. He added a floor to Casa Batlló, adorned the interiors with materials like mosaic, wood, tiles and stained glass and did a makeover of the façade. He included wavy shapes and balcony reminding of natural elements, eye-shaped windows and a roof recalling the back of a sea creature.

 

The restoration process

 

Among the 7 guilds of materials that can be admired after the façade restoration are the following:

 

Glass

Gaudi decorated the façade with pieces of glass using of the trencadís technique, a type of decoration with broken mosaic. All the pieces have been cleaned or replaced when missing due to the passage of time and gold was added to their edges. The shine has been restored, completing a multi-coloured canvas that changes throughout the day according to the sunlight. The original colour of the mortar that joins the different pieces has also been recovered, revealing 4 white stripes that cross the façade in diagonal.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Casa Batlló | Gaudí Barcelona (@casabatllo) on

 

Ceramics

One of the hardest tasks was to restore the ceramic pieces.  The process was complicated due to the chromatics and the state of the enamel degradation of some of them. These pieces are found on the roof formed by corrugated pieces, on the cross with four arms and the ceramic discs that are distributed in the middle of the trencadís. The tiles went through a special treatment by removing mould and bacteria and protecting them again.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Casa Batlló | Gaudí Barcelona (@casabatllo) on

 

Iron

Mainly present on the railings of the balconies, all the iron was protected for a better conservation. The original colour has been recovered, painting the main structure of white lead colour (a whitish pigment used in artistic painting) and the thick bars of gold tones. The beam on the upper balcony and its chains was restored.

 

Wood

Mainly present on the window shutters, the wood on the facade has been cleaned and restored. The broken bits were fixed with the same type of wood which is mostly of melis pine from the beginning of the 20th. This restoration has revealed two types of green in the wood, one lighter in the windows, balconies and grandstands, and another darker in the shutters.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Casa Batlló | Gaudí Barcelona (@casabatllo) on

 

Stone

Present in the lower part of the façade, especially the ground floor, the accumulated dust and pollution have been eliminated. The stones have been filled together and protected with a water repellent to ease its future conservation. As a result, the stones have regained its original colour and veining. This makes the drawings that compose this part of the façade more visible.

 

A well-informed visitor

 

When visiting this World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, you’ll be able to learn all about Casa Batllo’s new façade. There’s a free downloadable audio providing explanations about the rehabilitation work and Gaudi’s work. Also, you’ll travel to the early 20th century with a Smart Guide with augmented reality included in the visit.

 

Casa Batllo's new façade

 

The remodellation of Casa Batllo’s new façade concludes the work on the house’s noble floor. Stuccos on the walls have been restored as well as other ornament objects like a diseappeared now found again lamp in the main living room.

 

For more precise information, watch this video:

 

Related articles

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *