GÜELL PALACE (1886 - 1889)


CRITICAL COMMENTARY

This was a single-family home commissioned by Eusebi Güell and built in the historical center of Barcelona, planned as an extension of another property that he had on La Rambla, with which it was at one time connected.
Gaudí carried out the project meticulously and worked with the best craftsmen of the period to create what would be one of the most luxurious residences of the city. The new mansion served thus as a home, where the Güell family’s sumptuous private parties and cultural celebrations were held; it became a real symbol of the industrialist’s family’s economic power and artistic sensibility. Although the building was almost finished in 1888, when the Universal Exposition, the first held in Spain, was held in the city, its magnificent decoration and the finishing of all the details delayed its conclusion until 1890.

The building consists of six levels laid out in various ways (basement, ground floor, mezzanine, and three other floors). Its architectural conception stands out, with a central hall that is very light, over 80 m2 big and 17 m high, around which the other rooms are placed. The space is closed by a dome where multiple orifices produce an interesting play of light. Various functional elements are also remarkable, such as the chimneys on the roof, the careful working of the materials, the doors of the entryway with their wrought iron, with the owner’s initials at the top.

Gaudí had the help of many collaborators, such as the architects Francesc Berenguer and Camil Oliveras, the locksmith Joan Oñós, the iron workers Salvador Gabarró and the Badia Workshop, the carpenters Eudald Puntí and Francesc Vidal, the ceramicists of the factory Hijo de Jaime Pujol y Bausis, as well as the painters Alexandre de Riquer and Aleix Clapés. Gaudí also designed furniture, lights, and stained-glass windows, which he had made from the best materials, from delicate marbles to the highest quality of woods, ceramics, and multicolored glass. With them, he created spaces that evoked the Gothic and Islamic styles of art according to his own personal interpretation, at the same time that he was using the parabolic arc, a geometric shape that he would use constantly in all of his later work.

When, in 1910, Eusebi Güell left the building and moved to Güell Park to live, the building was occupied by his daughter Mercè, who in 1945 sold it to the Diputació de Barcelona, which for many years housed there the Museum of Scenic Art. Restored between 1983 and 1997, it is currently open for visits from the public.

Cultural Item of National Interest since 1969. Cultural Item of the World Heritage for UNESCO since 1984.

     
1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898
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