Casa Vicens is the first building designed by Antoni Gaudí after graduating in architecture in Barcelona in 1878. It was built between 1883 and 1888 in the Gracia district of Barcelona.
The house has a pronounced orientalist design, a style that Gaudi developed and perfected throughout his career. The Casa Vicens was commissioned by Manuel Vicens i Montaner, owner of a ceramic factory, and was to be the family’s summer residence.
Gaudí designed the interiors of the house together with craftsmen such as the sculptor Llorenç Matamala or the cabinetmaker Eudald Puntí. The iron fence is made from a palm leaf manufactured along with the blacksmith Juan Oñós.
In 2014 the house was sold to a private entity that carried out a complete renovation to turn Casa Vicens into a house to be visited by the public. It currently is part of the tourist route of modernism in Barcelona. The refurbishment was entrusted to the Martínez Lapeña – Elías Torres architectural studio, which was able to reconstruct missing architectural elements from old photographs, as well as eliminate features that were not in Gaudi’s original project.
Now a house-museum, Casa Vicens offers its visitors a cafeteria at the end of the garden that allows them to sit comfortably and admire one of the architectural wonders of the city of Barcelona.
This cafeteria is of contemporary design and its architects Martínez Lapeña and Elías Torres were inspired by the colours and shapes of the original house designed by Gaudí. The Nuta stools, designed by Luis Paz, are part of the furniture of this cafeteria.
Zaha Hadid, maybe the greatest female architect nowadays, left us last week. This great dame with revolutionary creations was the first woman to win the prestigious Pritzker prize, considered the Nobel of architecture.
Born in Baghdad in 1950, she studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before starting her architectural journey in 1972 at the Architectural Association in London. By 1979 she had established her own practice in London – Zaha Hadid Architects – garnering a reputation across the world for her ground-breaking theoretical works.
Working with office partner Patrik Schumacher, her interest was in the interface between architecture, landscape, and geology; which her practice integrates with the use of innovative technologies often resulting in unexpected and dynamic architectural forms.
Among her extensive work, placed all over the world, from Mobles 114 we want to highlight Vitra Fire Station in Weil am Rhein, or the MAXXI Museum in Rome, but also one of the unbuilt designs: Spiralling Tower, from which the first piece was placed in Barcelona in July 2009. A risky building, complex and expensive, characteristic of the star architecture boom. A great loss due to the economic crisis that left the city without a very interesting skyscraper.
Surfing the internet allows us to surprise and discover a lot of nice things. For instance, today we stop by the blog of Mobles 114 dealers in Poland, BarcelonaConcept, which has attracted us thanks to its section Architecture.
The most important buildings of the last years, and the icons of the city, are highlighted on the selection. The trip guides us from the Casa Bloc, social buildings designed by Josep Lluís Sert , Josep Torres i Clavé and Joan Baptista Subirana, to the best « tortillas » in town at Flash Flash restaurant, designed by Federico Correa and Alfonso Milà, among others.
Mediapro building, Carlos Ferrater, Partick Genard, Xavier Martí Galí
Auditorium, Rafael Moneo
International studios from Barcelona such as MBM Architects, Carlos Ferrater, or Pritzker prize winner Rafael Moneo are some of the authors. An interesting walk which discovers the contemporaneity of the architetonic skyline. A surprise in a city associated to Antoni Gaudi and Gothic buildings with a proposal of cosmopolitism.
CCCB Centro de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona, Albert Viaplana / Helio Piñón
Museo Picasso, Jordi Garcés
« Philosopher, father of semiotics, writer, professor, journalist, expert in ancient books: in each of their souls Umberto Eco was an international star, but with his students, readers, colleagues, Eco never exhibited such a snob pose that would have been adopted by other writers who have published bestsellers such as The name of the rose and Foucault’s pendulum. Umberto Eco laughed, reported on the latest news and -lighting a cigar had a last joke before submitting a new linguistic theory. » We borrow the words of Gianni Rotta in La Stampa diary of Turin to farewell Umberto Eco.
Eco’s work, especially Opera Aperta (Open Work, 1962) and « continuation » Apocalittici e integrati (Apocalyptic and integrated, 1964), is a clear influence for visual communication and philosophy. A new vision of the world in which they occur adaptive structures and the influence of mass media on society.
A master for Mobles 114, a remarkable person to follow his theories and outlook on life.
Barcelona Original Designs is the first online platform to offer objects, furniture, lighting, accessories and classic or contemporary pieces designed in Barcelona, created by Olivia Ricard, Cristina Pujol and Silvia Cambra in order to offer a meeting point among designers, craftsmen and entrepreneurs from the city.
Product selection shares the value of authentic, everlasting products, “which reminds us of whom, how and why it was created”, they explain. A thorough summary with valuable common nexus: Barcelona, function, ethics and aesthetics.
Most noted objects are the ones signed by José Antonio Coderch, Miguel Milà, André Ricard or Rafael Marquina, masters of industrial design and authors of icons like Disa or Cesta lamps, and products such as Copenhagen ashtrays or Marquina oil dispensers, both belonging to Classics collection by mobles 114.
The quickest and easiest way to get these common objects that are also true design icons: www.barcelonaindesign.com
Mariadiamantes is a studio from Barcelona founded by Clara Mercader, who is the author of Barcelona Visual.
The compilation of Barcelona’s icons, reinterpreted in a plastic and colourful way, has 50 images which represent the city: from its most famous buildings and transportations, to gastronomy or daily objects related to Mediterranean way of life.
For instance, Canaletes Fountain in the Ramblas can be found, or the distinctive black and yellow taxi. Also Barcelona chair designed by Mies van der Rohe for the Universal Expo 1929 is included…
… And objects such as Marquina oil and vinegar container or Copenhagen ashtray by André Ricard, both classic design icons from Barcelona edited by mobles 114.
At Mariadiamantes web you can find the illustrations and the book, and also a collection of postcards, to send and/or receive the best of Barcelona. Highly recommended.
‘Barcelona Visual’, una original forma de descubrir los iconos de Barcelona, por Mariadiamantes from Lunwerg Editores on Vimeo.