Travel

For the first time in 130 years, Gaudi’s first built house now open to the public

Finally, for the first time in its 130-year-old history, Casa Vicens will be open for everyone to visit and admire.

Constructed between 1883 and 1885, the colourful and ornate structure is the first house designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi. It was formerly a private residence, but was bought out by Andorra-based banking company MoraBanc in 2014 and underwent a two-year restoration.

Now, it’s set to open as a cultural centre in October, complete with a bookstore, a gift shop, an outdoor café, and a  museum displaying the Catalonian architect’s original designs, as well as hosting permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Casa Vicens’ revival will also complete the Gaudi Route, a series of buildings-turned-tourist attractions built by the renowned architect in and around Barcelona. Some of the places already accessible by visitors include Casa Batllo, Park Guell, and the yet-to-be-completed Sagrada Familia.

Being one of the earliest examples of Gaudi’s Neo-Mudejar style, Casa Vicens presented a lot of challenges for the restoration team. Some of these involved replicating old casting techniques to renovate dilapidated tiles and aging lamps, as well as having a group of artists restore the original colours of 34 paintings.

Suffice to say, the effort was worth it, as the once neglected structure is back to its former glory. Check out some of the project’s wonderful results below: