Built between 1883 and 1885, Casa Vicens is the very first home designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. During most of the Barcelona home’s 130-year-old history it served as a private residence, but thanks to a 2014 purchase by MoraBanc and a massive two-year renovation, the 19th-century building will be repurposed as a cultural center opening this October.
Casa Vicens was originally commissioned by the tile manufacturer Manuel Vicens i Montaner as a summer home, but sold in 1899 to the Jover family who owned the house for more than a century. The restoration of Casa Vicens began in April 2015, led by architects José Antonio Martínez Lapeña and Elías Torres, of Martínez Lapeña-Torres Arquitectes, and David García of Daw Office. The new museum will display many of Gaudís original designs while hosting both permanent and rotating exhibitions within its grand interior.
The building itself stands as an early example of the architect’s Neo-Mudéjar architecture, and is one of eight UNESCO World Human Heritage Site in Barcelona. Casa Vicens completes the Gaudí Route, a series of more than a dozen buildings designed by the architect including the breathtaking La Sagrada Familia.