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Although the house has been standing in Barcelona since the 1870s, it’s never too late to explore and experience the marvel of art and architecture that is The House of Inspiration, Casa Batlló. This home was built in the Modernisme style and has become a cultural landmark in Barcelona. It is an immersive experience that combines architecture, traditional art, digital art and music to turn it into an experience rather than just a view.
Without diving into an entire textbook about architecture and art, the term Modernism refers to an art movement that took place predominantly in the Catalan culture, one of the most prominent cultures within Spain. Also known as Catalan modernism or Catalan art nouveau, it was associated with the search for new enlightenment. Many artists, musicians, and particularly architects came out of this movement, leaving a lasting imprint on the history of Spain.
Casa Batlló is one of the many beautiful and apparent footprints that Modernisme left on history in Barcelona, having been designed by one of the most prominent architects of the movement, Antonio Gaudí. Driven by his love for architecture, nature and religion, all his works are stunning beyond comprehension, and Casa Batlló is no exception.
Initially built in 1877 by Emilio Sala Cortés, the building was bought and renamed Casa Batlló by Josep Batlló y Casanovas in 1903. As a prominent businessman and textile industrialist, Josep Batlló owned many properties throughout Barcelona, including many factories. Wanting to transform the building, he gave complete creative control to the young Antoni Gaudí, who had studied architecture under Emilio Sala Cortés.
Thankfully, Gaudí managed to change the original plan to demolish the building and start from scratch, instead managing to reform the building between 1904 and 1906, completely altering the façade of the building, redistributing the internal partitioning to make the building functional as well as beautiful, expanding the light well (the internal open area that illuminates the building with natural light) to allow for more light during a time when Barcelona didn’t even have electrical lights, and turning the entire building, inside and out, into a work of art.
Despite passing through many hands after the passing of Josep Batlló y Casanovas in 1934, the hands that received the deed for Casa Batlló recognised the beauty of the building time and time again, choosing to either keep the building as it was or restore it to its original beauty everywhere possible.
Deciding not to keep the beauty for themselves and leave only the stunning façade to the public, the family that owned the building in 1995 opened it as an event venue. It wasn’t until the building was recognised for its cultural significance in early 2000 that it was prepared for public viewing. Since 2002, anyone with a ticket can now enter the stunning Casa Batlló and experience its beauty.
Known as The House of Inspiration, Casa Batlló has been transformed into an immersive experience in the mind of the brilliant Antoni Gaudí and a place where modern art literally comes to life. Digital artist Refik Anadol designed his stunning work, “Living Architecture”, a digital display on the façade of the building that lights it up each night from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm, allowing anyone in the street to enjoy the lights and music of the building as it digitally comes to life.
The home’s interior is even more stunning than just the façade, inviting visitors to walk the halls designed by Antoni Gaudí for Mr Batlló. Each room is a stunning visual and audio experience. With a ticket, each viewer gets to explore the house with a guided walk-through on headsets that explain the house’s history, design and intrigue.
The home’s natural lighting and thoughtful design are only elevated by technology with lights and visual effects that transport you to another world; Casa Batlló is an architectural and artistic experience that you will want to experience at least once in your lifetime.