Gaudi Barcelona: Casa Batllo, Casa Mila

Casa Battlo, Barcelona, Spain.

Casa Batllo, the Bugcrew’s favourite Barcelona attraction, in the Eixample district.

Casa Batllo, Gaudi Barcelona

Casa Batllo is an outstanding sight, both inside and out. Rebuilt between 1904 and 1907 from a regular home into a fantastical, marine-themed modernist style by Anton Gaudi. The work was commissioned by industrialist Josep Batllo and the building was soon nicknamed the ‘House of Bones’ (Casa del Ossos) by locals. It contains uniquely designed rooms, fixtures and fittings of superb form and function.

Casa Batllo lounge exterior bones, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

The main lounge of the house with the bony, organic effect clearly visible. Photo by Tato Grasso.

Casa Batllo lounge interior, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

The lounge seen from the inside. Note the window frame vents. Photo by Tato Grasso.

Gaudi did his level best to avoid straight lines in Casa Battlo with a façade curved like human bones and decorated in mosaics made from shattered ceramic tiles.

Casa Batllo is located not far from the top end of La Rambla, Placa de Catalunya, on elegant but busy Passeig de Gracia.

Casa Batllo roof, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Batllo’s roof shows Gaudi and his collaborator Jujol at their most colourful. Some think that the roof is shaped like the scaly back of a dragon, while the turret and cross represent the lance or sword of Saint George (patron saint of Catalonia), plunging into into the creature’s back.

Casa Batllo roof vents, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Batllo roof vents, see also the lightwell and its graduated tiling. Photo by Tato Grasso.
Almost all Gaudi’s Barcelona designs are a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the title ‘Works of Anton Gaudi’.

La Perdrera, aka Casa Mila, Gaudi Barcelona

La Pedrera/Casa Mila, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

La Perdrera, aka Casa Mila

And more-or-less across the Passeig de Gracia from Casa Batllo is another Gaudi creation, La Perdrera, not as exquisitely formed or decorated but still worth a look as it’s just across the road from Batllo, but if you’re short of cash the interior is missable, just substiture Parc Guell, which is low cost but extensive and packed with extreme Gaudi.

La Pedrera/Casa Mila rooftop, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Much of Casa Mila is not open to visitors, with the exception of the atrium entrance and extraordinary roof.

La Perdrera (The Quarry in Catalan) was built after Casa Batllo, between 1906- 1912, and was such a disagreeable experience for Gaudi that he never worked on a private project again.

Some of the varied roof vents of La Pedrera. Photo by Bernard gagnon.

Chimney vents on Casa Mila were, needless to say, built before Darth Vader was conceived so we feel confident that the Star Wars director, George Lucas, was inspired by these creations.