July 1, 2016

2643 SPAIN (Catalonia) - Casa Vicens - part of Works of Antoni Gaudí (UNESCO WHS)

Casa Vicens is a modernist building in Barcelona, located in the neighborhood of Grácia on Calle de las Carolinas, 24. It was the first house designed by Antoni Gaudí, and is considered one of the first buildings of Art Nouveau. Its style is a reflection of Neo-Mudéjar architecture, including oriental and neoclassical as well. Gaudí broke away from tradition and created his new language of architecture, and Casa Vicens represents a new chapter in the history of Catalan architecture.

It was commissioned in 1877 by Manuel Vicens i Montaner, an owner of a brick and tile factory living in Barcelona at the time. The plans for construction (site, main floor, facade and section) date back to 1883. The house is constructed of undressed stone, rough red bricks, and colored ceramic tiles in both checkerboard and floral patterns. At the time of this construction, Gaudí was just beginning his career (he graduated from the Provincial School of Architecture in Barcelona in 1878).

In 1925, architect Juan Sierra de Martínez added on a new bay to the rear of the building, following the same style as Gaudí, and also significantly extended the size of the garden. He also modified the main floor entrances. These renovations were done with maximum respect for the original work, and Gaudí himself even approved these plans. During this time, he was busy constructing the Sagrada Família and was too busy to assist with the renovations for Casa Vicens.

The house is divided into four levels: a basement, two floors for living and a loft. On the ground floor, there is an extensive sitting-dining room, a small Turkish-style smoking room, and two additional rooms. The second floor was where the family's bedrooms were. A horseshoe-shaped stairway served as access. The third floor, or the attic, was where the servants lived. The horseshoe-shaped stairway also continued up to this floor. The roof is sloped on two sides and has four gables.

Casa Vicens was built using a variety of different materials and vibrant colors. The first two levels of the house are lined with horizontal roles of ceramic tiles decorated with French marigolds. The cast iron railings with their plant motifs and iron palm leaves form the gates to the house. Plants that had to be destroyed for the construction of the building were incorporated into the details of the building. From the second floor up, these tiles switch to vertical and the floral pattern on them is replaced with green and white tiles.

Casa Vicens is a UNESCO World Heritage Site from 2005, when it was added to the site Works of Antoni Gaudí, UNESCO World Heritage Site from 1984, about which I wrote here.

About the stamps
The first stamp, depicting Archaeological Ensemble of Tárraco, is part of a series dedicated to the World Heritage Site, about which I wrote here. The second stamp, depicting the sculpture Reina Mariana XII, is part of the series Arte Contemporáneo - Manolo Valdés (Contemporary Art - Manolo Valdés), about which I wrote here.
Casa Vicens - Wikipedia

Sender: Fabienne (direct swap)
Sent from Madrid (Madrid / Spain), on 25.09.2012
Photo: Pere Vivas

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