Stand on the street to admire the color and brickwork of Gaudí’s first building.
Casa Vicens is a private home and the first building designed by architect Antoni Gaudí. Hordes of tourists flock to the house to photograph and admire its façade. It’s not possible to go inside. The house sits in a quiet narrow street in Gracia, north of Barcelona’s city center. The floor space measured just 40 feet (12 meters) by 53 feet (16 meters) when it was first built in the late 1800s.
The house broke with many traditional conventions of architecture at the time. It was over-the-top in decoration, but simple in structural design. Gaudí was fresh out of college when he designed the building, but many of his trademarks are evident. There are references to nature in the design and strong contrasts between color and texture. For this building, Gaudí combined oriental influences with those from Hispanic and Arabic cultures.
The façade is largely made from brick, with green and white glazed tiles and flower motifs. The gate is decorated with palm tree motifs.
Gaudí believed nothing was secondary in architecture and not a single detail has been spared. All elements down to the blinds and air vents have been lavishly decorated. Admire the intricate ironwork on the balcony and the vibrant colors in the tiling.
Visit the house during the day to take in the detail. The private owners don’t mind tourists standing outside taking photographs. Just don’t attempt to jump the fence. Photographs of the inside of the house are in many books about the architect. Buy a book from a gift shop at any one of Gaudí’s other buildings around town, including Sagrada Familia or Casa Batlló.
The house is a two-minute walk from the metro station Fontana, and not far from Parc Güell. Take a bus down Avinguda del Príncep d’Astúries.