Antoni Gaudi's masterpiece, Casa Batllo, located in the center of Barcelona in Passeig de Gràcia, is perhaps one of the most beautiful residential property to be ever built!
The house was built by Emilo Sala Cortés in 1877 and commissioned by Lluís Sala Sánchez.
Gaudi drew his inspiration from nature, to design this beautiful house.
The building underwent a refurbishment activity in 1906 when the second owner of the house, Josep Batlló decided to divide the building into apartments. So a new fifth floor and facade were added apart from revamping the interior and depressed roof!
The building was originally a renovation project of an austere building that was designed by Emilio Sala Cortés, who was Antoni Gaudi's teacher during his architecture studying days! But it was the courage and creativity of Gaudi that led to a full renovation of the building and transformed it completely.
Due to a lot of features, the building's design violated Barcelona's building norms, and hence, faced a lot of issues for clearance. After a lengthy discussion among the local authorities, the design was given due approvals!
The facade of the building has mosaic tiles that comprises of pieces of glass and ceramic discs, giving an undulating surface appearance!
In this Antoni Gaudi's design, there aren't any straight lines in the interior of the building!
Continuing the trend of no straight lines, the first floor has irregular-shaped oval windows!
A sturdy iron railing separates the entrance hall on the ground floor and the private access to the Batlló private residence.
There's a grand wooden staircase in the hall that highlights the vaulted ceilings and skylights that are shaped in the form of tortoise shells!
On the Passeig de Gracia side, one can find a mushroom-shaped fireplace that is a specially designed secluded spot for courting couples apart from a festejador!
There are interconnected rooms in the main suite with huge windows that look like a large shop window, allowing light to fall inside the rooms.
The large oak doors in the rooms have organic shapes and are fitted with sets of stained glass.
Creating an illusion of sea and whirlpool, the ceiling is given a wavy appearance by using an esparto plaster filling!
Another proof of Gaudi's brilliant creativity is the building well! With light blue-shade tiles at the bottom and darker shade tiles at the top, to achieve light distribution, the well is a beautiful piece of the house.
The famous black dragon design at the roof terrace is another masterpiece of design!
The Mediterranean influence is seen in the usage of white color in the loft design which has about 60 catenary arches, creating a space that resembles a ribcage of an animal!
The spiral staircase that leads to the terrace is a stunning design!
Gaudi used colorful scaled tiles for the roof to make it resemble a reptile's skin! If one studies the roof carefully, it can be concluded that the roof resembles a dragon with the small turret that has a cross symbolizing the St. George sword stuck into the dragon!
The Casa Batllo is nicknamed as 'the House of Bones' or 'Casa dels ossos' due to the elements of the facade that appear bone-like.
It is also called as the 'House of Yawns' due to the huge, enlarged windows on the first floor!
Broken pieces of glass and tiles were used to create a broken mosaic design, that not only increases the aesthetic value of the design but is also an excellent example of recycling!
The house was opened to the public as a museum and cultural event space in 2002.
Casa Batllo lost the best urban house award in 1906, that was hosted by the Barcelona City Council!
It was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005!
The wooden lift installed in the patio of lights still functions fine!
Not only did Gaudi design the house but also the furniture that is inside the house. Though the furniture looks strange, it is ergonomic and comfortable!
The Batllo family lived in the house until 1954. In the same year, Casa Batllo was acquired by an insurance company.
The insurance company, Seguros Iberia was functioning from the house for almost the next 40 years!
The current owners, the Bernet Family, bought the house in 1993. Currently, the 2500 sq m of rooms are being rented out for special cultural events.