The Manzana de la Discordia – or Block of Discord, on Passeig de Gràcia in Barcelona, is a collection of Spain’s most renowned modernist buildings dating back to the early 1900’s. Each building is completely unique making the block a beautifully peculiar, architectural mash-up. In the mix is the whimsical work of Antoni Gaudi, the Casa Batlló.
Within Barcelona, Casa Batlló is known by a variety of different names: the house of bones, the house of yawns, the house of masks – contradictory to popular belief the structure was intended to be a cheerful and imaginative composition. Its inspiration appears to be of an oceanic fantasy world. When its mosaic laden curves catch the sunlight the building comes to life, moving and rippling like a marine organism.
Once the home of Joseph Batlló and his family, the property is now a tourist mecca. It is impossible to remain indifferent to the building’s remarkable façade – even those who don’t appreciate the divine world of the fantastical will upon leaving Casa Batlló. Tours of the great casa began in 2002 after extensive refurbishment to return the house to its original magnificence.
THINGS TO DO :
- Explore the entrance hall which is similar to an underwater cave. The staircase leading upstairs will enthrall you with its striking resemblance to an animal’s backbone.
- Discover the remarkable details and secrets on the Noble Floor – the former living space of the Batlló family
- Enjoy a breath of fresh air in the private inner courtyard directly off the Noble Floor
- Wind upstairs to the Loft, also known as the Belly of the Dragon – this space was once storage and laundry rooms
- Experience the aquatic like magnificence of the building well – formerly the communal stairwell
By: Chelsea Forman NICHE Magazine Summer issue 2013
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