Before settling in Barcelona, I lived in, among other places, Hong Kong for a number of years. So to find a building such as the one I will be showing you today, therefore, not far from where I lived, was a great surprise and delight to me!
On number 82 of La Rambla you can find Casa Bruno Cuadros, which in the past housed an umbrella shop on its ground floor. It was an existing building that in the economic boom of the late 19th century was refurbished in an eclectic mix of elements that refer to various cultures, popular at the time.
Structurally, the style makes use of all manner of Egyptian elements (as can be seen on the balcony above, for example), yet the rest of the decorative elements of this jewel are predominantly Japanese and Chinese in style.
Images extracted from Japanese paintings and carvings symbolic of good fortune abound on the ground floor, and on the upper walls compositions of fans and umbrellas decorate the façades on all 3 free standing sides of the building.
The colours have also been chosen according to Asian traditions and so rich reds and golds abound on the ground floor. Especially beautiful are the golden panels inset between the large red ones, painted to imitate rich woven silks with traditional Japanese or Chinese patterns, such as the dragonfly below. Isn’t it just lovely? Naturally, the most spectacular is the very large cast iron dragon which protrudes from one of its corners (see further above) and which holds a ‘bamboo’ lantern in its mouth. Aaaah… I do like a bit of Asian style every now and then! I hope you like it too!