The First House Antoni Gaudí Ever Designed Will Soon Become a Public Museum
When Antoni Gaudí was 31, he designed his first house: a vividly colored, Eastern-inspired residence in Barcelona called Casa Vicens, which was completed in the late 1880s. Originally a summer residence for tile manufacturer Manuel Vicens i Montaner, the home was privately owned for over a century. Now, Hyperallergic reports that the four-story structure will be opened to the public for the first time ever this October, as a cultural center dedicated to the famed Catalan architect.
Casa Vicens was sold in 1899 to a clan called the Jover family. They owned the house until 2007, and Italian family bank MoraBanc purchased it seven years later, intending to open it to visitors.
Spanish architects have spent the past two years restoring Casa Vicens to its original glory: They replaced ceramic tiles on its façade with carefully wrought imitations, restored its lamps, and touched up 34 interior paintings made by Barcelona artist Francesc Torrescassana i Sallarés.
None of Gaudí’s original handiwork was altered, since the home is protected as a UNESCO World Human Heritage Site and an Asset of National Cultural Interest. However, the Jovers had expanded the home in 1925, so architects transformed these newer additions into exhibition spaces, a gift shop, and a bookstore.
You can view some pictures of Casa Vicens below, along with a video of the tile restoration process.