Casa Batlló is one of Antoni Guadi’s most famous pieces of architecture. Not only is a great specimen of Catalan Modernism, it is one of the highlights of his incredible career, and is definitely one of the most magical buildings in Barcelona. From 1904 to 1906, Guadi worked tirelessly on this house, mosaicking the exterior with glass and stone scales, resembling the hide of a great dragon. The lower portion of the house is dappled with pieces of glass, which he mortared individually after completely resurfacing it, giving the entire façade a wavy shape.
The entire exterior of the house gives of a magical, shimmering light, especially as you walk past it at different times of the day. Each balcony on the face of the building is equipped with a mask-like railing, which can make it appear that the house is watching you as you approach it.
At the top of the house, huge windows are controlled by a system of weights and counterweights. When they are all open, they form one large window, giving a spectacular view of the city below. On the main floor, the pillars that hold up the ceiling have been carefully carved into shapes that are reminiscent of bones and the rooms themselves were personally decorated by Guadi. The layout of the rooms is curved and appears rather random, but when one follows the walls, you will see how they sweep back and forth like waves.
Up the staircase, which is designed to look like the spine of a giant sea creature, you will see the tortoiseshell skylights. In the main room at the top of the stairs is one of the house’s best features, a huge skylight, surrounded with reflective glass and shined stones, which reflect the light.
The entire house looks as if it has been ripped from the pages of a children’s storybook. The structure of the house is made to look like the hide and the bones of an animal, and all of the decorative features reflect this. It is colorful and magnificent, which will delight any child. Besides the fantastical elements, which are just as magical for adults as they are for children, you will be surprised at the functionality of the design features. Every handle and bannister has been carefully designed (and preserved) to make them easy and comfortable to use.
This house truly is the paragon of Guadi’s work. Visitors take in the exterior and then explore all floors of the house, even the roof. The tour is conducted by audio guide, which takes through the different sections of the house, explaining the architectural and design elements as you go. It will also give you an unique insight into the imagination of the architect and the history of the house.
As a World Heritage Site, Casa Batlló melds Mediterranean, Modernist, and Spanish styles in a magical way. This house is unlike anything else in Barcelona, and apart from the Guadi Experience, is the best way to learn about this iconic architect and be amazed and delighted as you do so.