La Casa de les Punxes by Puig i Cadafalch

In the middle of the Eixample, between two emblematic modernist buildings such as the Casa Milà and the Sagrada Família of the catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, we find Casa Terradas, popularly known as "La Casa de les Punxes". The architect was Josep Puig i Cadafalch, who built the house in 1905, commissioned by Bartomeu Terradas Brutau, textile and agricultural entrepreneur. The house was intended for the three daughters of the entrepreneur, Àngela, Josefa and Rosa, and for that reason the architect designed the building in three parts, one for each sister. In this way, the house looks like a building alone but in fact there are three different houses.

In 1975, the house was declared a national historic monument, and from 2016 you can take guided tours inside.

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Inspiration of La Casa de les Punxes

The Casa de les Punxes is a building inspired by the ancient medieval castles, with elements of different architectural currents and various technical innovations. The most remarkable element that gives its name to the house are the six pointed towers crowned by needles in a conical manner. The building had to be constructed in a triangular lot, which prevented the architect to respect the corners of the streets of the Pla Cerdà. To solve this, Puig i Cadafalch breaks with the established norms of the classicism prevailing at that time and is inspired by the architectural movement of northern Europe to build a block with six corners that coincide with the intersections of the surrounding streets. The castle of Neuschwanstein in Bavaria (Germany), served as an inspiration for the architect to do his work, and as a curiosity, this castle also inspired Walt Disney for the castle of Beauty and the Beast.

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La Casa de les Punxes and its decoration

Puig i Cadafalch had the collaboration of leading iron and glass craftsmen working on new techniques and materials for the decorative elements of the house. Thus, on the façade there are elements made of iron, glass and ceramics that represent floral, marine and vegetal motifs, medieval iconography and even religious symbols. In addition, each façade has a decorative ceramic element that represents each of the three Terradas sisters. In this sense, ceramic tiles are present throughout the house as a recurring element of modernist architecture.

The Casa Vicens: Gaudí & Modernisme movement

Casa Vicens, located in Vila de Gràcia, was commissioned to the catalan architect Antoni Gaudí in 1883 as a summer residence. The construction was finished in 1885 becoming the first masterpiece of the architect and giving the kick-off to Modernisme movement in Catalonia. The house consists of different interesting spaces, such as the garden, the basement, the main floor, the first and the second floor (where the permanent exhibition is located) and the accessible rooftop, all of them visitable. In 1925 an extension of Casa Vicens was carried out to accommodate the cultural and museological function that it currently has, and in 2005 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

CASA VICENS - GAUDÍ: Garden and basement

Going through the enclosure, we make a first stop in the garden of Casa Vicens. It is a space inspired by Mediterranean flora and fauna, which is why we can find plants such as palms, magnolias and roses. As a curiosity, every May 22, following a typical tradition in the neighborhood of Gràcia, there is a mass in honor of Santa Rita in the garden, where there is an image of hers, and the blessing of the roses is celebrated. Continuing with the visit we can stop at the basement, where we find the specialized bookstore La Capell, which also has a library, under a catalan vault ceiling.

The house

On the ground floor, which contains the main floor, we find the dependencies for day-time use, such as the smoking room and the dining room. The smoking room is a leisure space decorated in an exuberant way in the oriental style, and in the dining room we can find the original furniture designed by Gaudí and a collection of paintings by Francesc Torrescassana. On the first floor there are the private rooms of the Vicens family (bedrooms, bathrooms...) all decorated with plant motifs and typical symbols of the Gaudí style. The second floor, where we find the permanent exhibition, is a diaphanous space with wooden beams and windows that offer a beautiful set of lights and shadows. And finally, the rooftop was built as a transitable area where you can stroll and enjoy the views.

The museum project has recovered the original spaces conceived by Gaudí to publicize the essence of its architecture and decoration. Casa Vicens is now a unique cultural space of knowledge and entertainment for all audiences.