Casa Vicens is the Antoni Gaudí’s first residential project. After a period of major restoration it finally opens to the public during this autumn.
Expectedly moorish and brilliantly colorful, Casa Vicens was built by Gaudí in Barcelona between 1883 and 1885, as a summer home for real-estate broker Manel Vicens i Montaner, which until now has always served as a residence.
Fortunately for the Guadí trail trekkers en route to Barcelona, that all changed when a Spanish bank bought the UNESCO world heritage site three years ago. With the help of local design studio DAW, the buyers have since transformed Casa Vicens into a museum which opened to the public this past November for the first time.
However, the site is not as it originally once was. In 1925, Vicens sold the custom-made summer home to a man named Antoni Jover who converted it into a three-family residence. And whilst the renovations were overseen by Gaudí’s friend and fellow architect Joan Baptista Serra de Martínez, some sacrifices were made including Gaudí’s original staircase.
And since, it has gone through further changes, particularly in the years between 2015-2017 where a restoration project dedicated to making the space more practical as a cultural institution. Walls and ceilings panted with new colors, gardens and water features relocated (namely Gaudi’s bicycle-wheel fountain at the front of the house), even the entrance was moved. during this period efforts have been made to restore Gaudì’s original design with the spaces added in 1925, using original photographs and historical records.