Casa Batlló

Antoni Gaudí's Casa Batlló

Gaudi's early masterpiece Casa Batlló (1904-1906)

Barcelona, Spain
Kasper Christiansen
Text & photos: Kasper Christiansen
15. November, 2020 (revised version)

Antoni Gaudí's Casa Batlló is one of the most important monuments in the city of Barcelona and a milestone in the work of Antoni Gaudí. Casa Batlló is a highlight in the Art Nouveau architecture and in Gaudí's career. The use fully developped use of glazed tiles, organic forms and the combination of gothic and arab architecture appear here for the first time in the work of Antoni Gaudí.

''Casa Batlló meant a revolution in Architecture when built in the period 1904-1906''

Casa Batlló was built for the Batlló family from 1904 to 1906. The house is a restauration of a former building, but the transformation process is so thorough that very little is left of the original structure.

Casa Batlló - one of Gaudís most impressive buildings
Staircases in Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló & Saint George

The construction of Casa Batlló means a new climax in the work of Antoni Gaudí. The work is a tour de force of Art Nouveau architecture and craftmanship combining marble, glass mosaics, glazed tiles, mosaics and sculpture.

The building contains numerous references to Catalan culture. Gaudí told one of his workers that the house was a reference to the story about Sant Jordi (in English: Saint George) and the Dragon. This means that the house can be seen as a metaphor for the body of the dragon, the roof being the bag of the dragon and the balconies being the sculls of the people that the dragon has eaten.

Vaults Casa Batlló
Vaults in Casa Batlló

Organic architecture

The building goes up againt traditional architectural thinking: it is far from the traditional box - here, for the first time, Gaudí creates a radically different architecture, inspired by organic forms. There are virtually no right angles, and organic and geometric shapes such as twsted arcs, paroboles and hyperbolic paraboloids become dominant.

For Gaudí, nature is ultimately a picture of the divine creation - nature is the work of God and thus nature is like "an open book" that every architect should study, as Gaudí put it. Casa Batlló uses glazed tiles and undulating movement in the facade for the first time.

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