Casa Vicens: Gaudí’s First Major Work

Casa Vicens was designed by Antoni Gaudí after he graduated from the Escola Provincial d’Arquitectura de Barcelona 1878. It is the first of his 10 major works in Barcelona. He received the commission from stockbroker Manuel Vicens i Montaner (1836-1895) to build a summer estate in Gràcia.

Casa Vicens Barcelona

The protruding and intruding elements on the facade of Casa Vicens and the use of colour and decorated ceramics are inspired by Moorish and Oriental architecture.

History of Casa Vicens

Work began on the house in 1883 when Gaudí was just 31 years old and it was completed in 1885. The building is considered an important historical prelude to Catalan modernism.

Dr. Antonio Jover, a surgeon from Havana, Cuba acquired the house in 1899; the grandfather of the owners of the building prior to its sale to MoraBanc in 2014. In 1925, architect Juan Sierra de Martínez added on a new bay to the rear of the building and increased the size of the garden. At that time the house was also divided into three independent floors. The renovations were done with maximum respect for the original work, and the plans were approved by Gaudí who was busy working on La Sagrada Família.

In 2014 Casa Vicens was acquired by MoraBanc from the Herrero-Jover family, its owners since 1899, when it was purchased from the widow of Manuel Vicens i Montaner. Since 2015 MoraBanc has extensively renovated the building. It opened to the public in 2017, after 130 years as a private home.

Architectural Style

Neo-Mudéjar architecture is a type of Moorish revival architecture that Gaudí incorporated into Casa Vicens. The years 1883-1888 are described as Gaudí’s orientalist period. Casa Vicens incorporates Catalan, Islamic, Japanese and English inspirations and techniques.

Casa Vicens Smoking Room

The smoking room pictured above underwent a meticulous process to restore the original multi-color paintings. Unique papier-mâché decoration also covers the walls of this oriental-style room.

Casa Vicens Dining Room

The dining room features a hearth at the center, original furniture along the walls and 32 oil paintings by Francesc Torrescassana i Sallarés (1845-1918).

Casa Vicens Tiles

As with his other buildings, influences directly from nature can be seen. Gaudí based his design for the pressed tiles on the French marigold which grew in the grounds of the estate.

Casa Vicens Cast Iron Railings

The cast iron railings were made using clay models of leaves of the fan palm.

Casa Vicens Rooftop

The first accessible rooftop among Gaudí’s works represented a place to escape and contemplate, with sweeping views over 19th century Barcelona. The towers and domes on the corners of the building again reflect Islamic and Oriental architectural styles. The link below leads to our affiliate Tiqets.

Casa Vicens is situated in the western part of Gràcia on Carrer de les Carolines, 24. It is the eighth building in Barcelona listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the last to be opened to the public. The other UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Barcelona are La Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, Park Güell, Palau Güell, Palau de la Música and Hospital de Sant Pau.