1. The ”trencadís” (‘broken')
It’s a kind of mosaic made with pieces of ceramics joined
The Catalan architects of Modernismo used to work with
ceramics tiles, but Antoni Gaudí proposed a new system, the
“trencadís”. Josep Maria Jujol put it into practice and gave it its
He used remaining pieces from the factory Pujol i Bausis,
in Esplugas de Llobregat, as well as pieces of white plates and
cups from anywhere.
In order to get bright colors, he decided to use glazed
ceramics, taking advantage from the smooth polished surface
together with the three-dimensional surface of his architecture.
The “trencadís” technique was first used for the entrance of the
Güell residence, in Pedralbes avenue in Barcelona. The winding
architecture of this house made it necessary to break tiles where
it was impossible to use whole ones.
3. Initially inspired in the baroque, this period was characterized by not
only the most lively Modernismo but also the least related to previous
This vision can be seen in many of Gaudí’s works since the beginning of
the 20thC and it represents an evolution from his earlier learning of
Period of big expressiveness (like in the Nativity facade of La Sagrada
Gaudinian morphology : Abstraction of common shapes of nature.
4. Casa Calvet 1898-1899
In 1900 this house was awarded by the City Hall of
This is Gaudí’s first block of apartments, built for the
Calvet family, a family of textile manufacturers.
5. On each side and on the center, the facade is furnished with the heads of San Pedro
Mártir (in honor of the owner’s father), San Genis notary and San Genis comedian (in
honor of the patrons of Vilassar de Mar, home town of Eduard Calvet).
6. The big cantilever which holds up the
tribune has a letter “C” (for Calvet)
engraved in the inferior part, along with the
shield of Catalonia and a cypress, symbol
The gallery is fully furnished and contains
a sculptural set made of two horns of
wealth and different types of mushrooms
(Mr. Calvet used to go to the mountains to
collect mushrooms as a hobby).
8. The main door
At the main entrance, there is a big wooden door with
a curious handle, which represents a cross hitting a
bedbug, symbol of evil.
9. The elevator is a masterpiece with its decoration made of wood, iron and glass.
10. The back facade (not visible from the street) is very
interesting and functional. It has balconies and
galleries with floral motifs. The little terrace on the
main floor, decorated with two strange and
baroque plant pots made of artificial stone, stands
out in the building too.
12. This piece of furniture
used to be the dominant
element in the
boardroom of La Casa
Calvet, on the ground
floor. All the original
furniture here was made
One of the chairs of the boardroom
in la Casa Calvet
The style of this armchair establishes a transition between
the furniture in the boardroom of La Casa Calvet and the
one designed for the houses Batlló and Milà.
15. La Casa Batlló is the result of the total alteration of an old
conventional house built in 1877. The owner, the textile
industrialist Josep Batlló i Casanovas, entrusted Gaudí with this
alteration. From a simple base, Gaudí made a surprising new
He added the balconies, the
attic and two new floors as well
as the painted ceramics,
designed by his collaborators
Josep María Jujol and Joan Ribió
Gaudí’s 1904 project was
strongly criticized by the local
authorities of that time because
debido some elements
exceeded the limits of the
The changes in the old building
17. Gaudí used elements which were typical of the Modernismo like ceramics, stone or forged iron, with extraordinary
18. Facade and roof
Harlequin, character of the Commedia dell Arte
32. Old picture of the living room on the noble floor
On the right, the big doors of the chapel cupboard. Gaudí had first used that in the Palacio Güell. At that time, many
bourgeois houses had a prayer room.
34. View from the staircase leading to the other
apartments of la Casa Batlló.
36. Inside, the space was completely
reorganized to get more natural
ventilation and lighting
The inner yard is covered with
ceramics increasingly lighter as we
descend from the terrace to the
ground floor in order to achieve a
lighting as uniform as possible.
41. Casa Milà, La Pedrera 1906-1912
Built between 1906 and 1910 for the Milà family.
It is one of the essential houses of Gaudí, one of the most imaginative in the history of architecture.
More than a building, it is a sculpture.
42. Pere Milà i Camps was a rich businessman: his father,
Pere Milà i Pi, had made a lot of money with the
Milà expanded the family business and tried his luck
in other sectors. He went into politics too.
Milà was married to Roser Segimon i Artells, widow
Pere Milà i Camps Roser Segimon i Artells of Josep Guardiola i Grau, who had made a fortune
with coffee plantations in América. She inherited
They bought the site in Paseo de Gracia in 1905, and entrusted Gaudí with the project. Gaudí, who
was a well-known architect already, was working on different projects at the same time: La Sagrada
Familia, la Torre Bellesguard , el Parque Güell , la Casa Batlló and the restoration of the Cathedral
of Santa María de Palma de Mallorca.
Milà wanted a big building so as to live on the main
floor and rent the rest, something which was
common at that time.
The ground floor (the exterior part), was used for
47. Plan of the basement
of la Casa Milà
The structure of floors of la Casa Milà rests upon a basement used as a garage and lumber room.
Access from the halls, by some spiral ramps.
It has a structure of 90 columns made of stone, iron and brick, which hold up the building.
On this floor there was the machine room for the central heating as well as several areas for common
The neighbors gained access through some auxiliary stairs. Each one had a parking space and a lumber
50. La Casa Milà did not respect any
conventional rules, thus it was
The satirical magazines used to
spread these critiques
Satirical vision of the future of la Pedrera
in the magazine l'Esquella de la Torratxa,
drawn by Picarol (4th January 1912).
Among the people who defended Gaudí’s project was Salvador Dalí, who vindicated it in the magazine Minotaure in
1933, in an article called De la beauté terrifiante et comestible de l'architecture.
Later, it was praised by figures like Le Corbusier, Nikolaus Pevsner, George Collins, Roberto Pane o Alexandre Cirici i
53. The apartments were designed by Gaudí so
as they could be adapted to the tenants’
There aren’t any load-bearing walls so we
can adapt the space.
All the floors and almost all the apartments
have different structures, which have
evolved until now: for example, the Milàs’
apartment became an office and now is an
Stairs leading to the Milás’ apartment
56. Detail of the main column
We can read the words “forgive“
From up to down, we can see a rose, a cross, words with mystic
meaning and shells which represent the pilgrimage to Santiago de
57. Detail from one of the Milà apartments around 1930.
The stone column is covered with plaster, the inscriptions engraved by Gaudí can be annoying for the tenants, especially
during the years of the Civil War (1936-39).
58. Detail of the original ceilings with the word AVE
The biomorphic holes, like open mouths, are typical of Gaudí’s sculptures: mirrors, clocks, columns, etc.
59. Detail of the original ceilings with the word MARIA.
In la Casa Milà, Gaudí refers to the Virgen del Rosario and we can find tributes to her even on the furniture with the name
of the owner Doña Rosario Segismon.
63. Attic of the house with bricks structured with catenary arches