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Casa Battlò, discovering the most unique house in the world

During a visit to Barcelona, among the many sights available, one cannot fail to pay a visit to Casa Battlò, perhaps the most unique residence in the world. In fact, its architecture is absolutely unique, and it is one of the most famous sights in Spain.

Entirely renovated at the beginning of the 20th century by the great architect Antoni Gaudi, it is located at number 43 Passeig de Gràcia and is considered one of the architect's most original creations. Since 2005, the house has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Since the 1990s, the building has been in the hands of its current owners, the Bernat family, who have completely reformed it.

By ChristianSchd - This file was derived from: Casa Batllo Overview Barcelona Spain.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.
Casa Battlò, discovering the most unique house in the world
During a visit to Barcelona, among the many sights available, one cannot fail to pay a visit to Casa Battlò, perhaps the most unique residence in the world. In fact, its architecture is absolutely unique, and it is one of the most famous sights in Spain.
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Where Casa Battlò is located
Completely renovated in the early 20th century by the great architect Antoni Gaudi, it is located at 43 Passeig de Gràcia and is considered one of the architect's most original creations. Since 2005, the house has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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Battlò gave Gaudi the task of renovation
In the beginning, the building was built in 1877 by Emilio Sala Cortés, when electricity had not yet arrived in Catalan lands. In 1903 it was bought by D. Josep Batlló y Casanovas, a textile entrepreneur, who later gave total creative freedom to Antoni Gaudí, commissioning him with a reform that, in the beginning, included the demolition of the building
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The size of Casa Batllò
Casa Batlló occupies a total of 4300 m2, with 450 m2 of floor space on the floors. It is an impressive 32 metres high and 14.5 metres wide, making a significant increase on the previous building, the one designed by Cortés (21 metres high and 3100 m2 of floor area). The total number of floors of Casa Batlló is eight.
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Instead, Gaudi made a totally new project
Gaudi decided not to destroy the palace, but instead proposed structural changes that completely altered it. The project lasted from 1904 to 1906, and completely changed the façade, redistributing the internal dividing walls, enlarging the courtyard and making the interior a true work of art.
By Bernard Gagnon - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8985800
The block of discord
Near Casa Battlò, at the same time, many other architects were renovating houses of the period and competing for urban planning awards called by the Barcelona City Council. This is why it was called 'the block of discord' and today forms a unique complex. In addition to Casa Battlò are: Casa Amatller (by architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch); Casa Lleó Morera (by Lluís Domènech i Montaner); Casa Mulleras (by Enric Sagnier); Casa Josefina Bonet (by Marcel-li Coquillat).
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Functionality as Gaudi's dogma
As in other works by Gaudí, limitless creativity is subordinated to the prism of functionality, a criterion to which the architect subordinates all other elements. Thus, luminosity and ventilation are cornerstones of Casa Battlò. To do this, the various buildings are arranged around a central open space, the patio, the true jewel of the structure.
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The facade as a distinguishing factor
The incredible architecture can be seen directly from the façade of the building, built in sandstone from Montjuïc. The entire façade is characterised by an undulating and in itself vibrant rhythm, as the architect firmly denies the presence of the straight line, which he considers incompatible with the curvilinear nature of natural forms.
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The cultural offer of Casa Battlò
Since 1995, the family that owns the house has opened it to the public and allowed the world to visit this marvel, also offering a space for events. Since 2002, in conjunction with the International Year of Gaudí, Casa Batlló has also hosted cultural visits. The two activities continue to be carried out today and the offer and contents are constantly being innovated.
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The rib cage of the whale
In constructing the attic, Gaudí adopted an ingenious architectural solution based on the use of the so-called catenary arch or balanced arch, which allows for an even distribution of loads by eliminating the need for columns, walls and buttresses. The result is an environment reminiscent of a cave, or according to some the ribcage of a large animal such as a whale.
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Casa Battlò today
To this day, Casa Battló is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and remains a true icon in Barcelona, an essential stop to appreciate the work of Gaudí and modernism at its best. It is also one of the best rated cultural and tourist attractions and receives 1 million visitors a year.
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