A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to attend a gathering of architectural bloggers for a guided tour of Casa Macaya, a modernist building on Passeig de Sant Joan 108, which has recently been restored and reopened to the public. It is a true gem of the Modernista style and was designed by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, one of Barcelona’s great architects of that period.
Richly adorned with detailing in materials and styles typical of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there is one in particular which I found delightful, and it is the depiction of the architect on a bicycle (below). For this is the mode of transport he chose to use while travelling between the sites of Casa Macaya and Casa Amatller (on Passeig de Gràcia) which were being constructed at the same time, and which show certain similarities.
Other details include gorgeous sgraffiti, ornate carvings around windows, doorways, pillar bases and tops, and the base of the staircase that goes to the first floor, as well as wrought iron railings, balcony supports and window grilles…
… and also stained glass, slim Gothic columns, and many step-like details, which give an almost Moorish appearance to the whole.
Rich tiles, both in glazed colour and unglazed terra cotta, adorn the lower parts of the walls on the ground floor and the ceilings, and the latter have been offset by white clove and wheel details along the vault ridges and sides of each vault, applied with the sgraffito technique.
Casa Macaya is open to the public on weekdays, for it is now in use as a center for senior citizens to get up to speed with their computer knowledge, and at times also for exhibits. But this weekend, on the 27th and 28th of October, there will be many more buildings opened to the public, for Barcelona is celebrating its third 48H Open House. During these days, all kinds of architectural gems, in all areas of Barcelona, will open their doors for the general public to view them and delight in their clever design or cultural and historical value. Check the site for 48H Open House Barcelona here for more details, and to sign up to visit some of the buildings, where access is restricted. (The site is unfortunately only available in Catalan, so you will need to use your browser’s translating tool to be able to read it.)
I’m planning to check out a few of the buildings this weekend, so who knows, we may run into each other! Wouldn’t that be fun?