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Published July 3rd 2021
La Pedrera in Barcelona
Occasionally, in the distant past, construction was carried out in a manner that seemed futuristic to modern eyes. The finest illustration of this is the famous artist and architect Antonio Gaud's structures, which appear to be on virtually every corner in Barcelona.
The Casa MilÓ was the architect's final secular structure before devoting his entire career to the design and construction of the Sagrada Famlia church. Anyone standing in front of this magnificent structure now would be hard-pressed to realise it was constructed over a century ago. It appears to be a house from the future that has been teleported into the heart of the metropolis.
Unfortunately, the couple left with a major portion of the furniture that was custom-made for this building. The furniture could not be rebuilt until much later. However, the Casa MilÓ was ahead of its time in several respects. Quality of life is ensured by light, air, and natural forms. At the turn of the twentieth century, air conditioning was almost definitely unknown, yet proper ventilation and air conditioning remained critical. Gaud devised a ventilation system for which even Leonardo da Vinci would have applauded him.
Additionally, three inner courtyards were created, providing ample natural light to the individual apartments. Again, the builder did not scrimp on colour but did so at the expense of every correct angle: everything is round, curved, and, yes, even flowing. Ample light reaches the expansive stairs used by all inhabitants to access their homes. Gaud's elevators, on the other hand, were installed considerably later. Nonetheless, the architect's architectural style was preserved to preserve the house's beauty.
As is customary with Gaud, he was largely influenced by the "structural forms" of nature when designing this structure. In several areas, the home appears to have grown organically rather than being constructed by human hands. From the exterior, this is obvious: the railings of the various balconies are constructed entirely of twisted metal waste. Indeed, no railing is identical to the next, and the spectator is left wondering which climbing plant has taken up residence along the facade.
What appears strange and dismal from the exterior is actually a contemporary, joyful, breathing structure on the inside. From the expansive entry gate, it is immediately apparent how much light floods this property. Additionally, Gaud was not constrained by space constraints throughout the planning and building phases but was allowed to generously design all apartments and spaces of the home. The colourful corridors of Casa MilÓ stand out in this context. While they often wound their way through a structure like black mole passageways, these sections in this house are as light as day. This is also owing to the three inner courtyards, which serve to disperse the building's weight. Additionally, the stairs are as vast as they are light, allowing Gaud to overlook every straight line and correct angle. Nonetheless, the stairs are consistent in height to prevent you from stumbling.
Since the Casa MilÓ is still partially occupied and has offices in other sections, it cannot be viewed in its full. The doors to the roughly 1,000 square meter apartment on the first floor, which is now the Fundaciˇ Catalunya's Art Museum - "La Pedrera," are, nevertheless, available to tourists. Additionally, a sixth-floor apartment may be visited, which has been furnished with authentic furniture and furnishings from the building's early years.
Casa MilÓ's attic particularly impresses with its unique vault form, which allows for plenty of natural light. Here, an exhibition on Antonio Gaud's life and work was installed, with a specific emphasis on Casa MilÓ. Through the use of subdued music and a variety of slide displays, this performance maintains a diverse and instructive nature.
Finally, similar to the nearby Casa Batllˇ, a feature is an accessible roof. The architect built a genuine wonderland here that is on par with his earlier works. Chimneys, ventilation shafts, and stairs were all constructed in this manner as if they were a bizarre mashup of King Arthur and Robocop. Others are reminded of the Easter Island sculptures.
With a magnificent view of the city, you may have a nice stroll on the top. The roof of Casa MilÓ is a feast for the senses because of its curved forms, stairs, vibrant colours, and inventive use of uncommon materials.
Is it worthwhile to visit Casa MilÓ?
Any true Gaud fan would emphatically affirm "yes" to this question. Unless otherwise specified, the following applies - Barcelona as a city has so many sites and architectural features, most of which are associated with Gaud, that a visit to Casa MilÓ does not have to be considered a must-see. Regardless, the mansion is quite magnificent and a joy to see. If you've returned to the city, you should have arrived here by now.
The twentieth century was still in its infancy when a prosperous couple named MilÓ began seeking an architect. The family possessed a 2,000 square metre parcel of land on Passeig de GrÓcia, which was already exquisite at the time, on which a contemporary and elegant mansion was to be erected.
Who designed it?
Antonio Gaud had recently completed the Batllˇ family home in a nearby area and was already regarded as one of the guild's greatest representatives at the time. As such, it was natural to entrust him with the planning of Casa MilÓ. Although the MilÓs were previously familiar with Gaud's grandiose architectural style, they are claimed to have been taken aback when they visited the building site soon before completion.
At the time, the phrase "horror home" was reportedly utilised. In any event, it has been said that even back then, half of the city spoke about " La Pedrera ", a quarry. This moniker has endured to the present day, owing to the facade's resemblance to one. However, at the time, the vernacular selected this term primarily because the curving facade parts were put in their raw state and subsequently shaped. The building site usually resembled a steep face of an opencast mine with stonemasons at work.
Although the house's curving front is composed of lime-sandstone, the load-bearing components were constructed of reinforced concrete at the time. Apart from that, Gaud has always been inspired by nature and has always thought beyond the box. When it came to ornamental components, the famed mosaics and shattered stained glass were once again employed.
Returning to the stunned MilÓ couple: Gaud's partnership with them was terminated in court. They were unsatisfied with the building and refused to accept the final invoice from the architect. Gaud, on the other hand, was correct during the negotiation. The MilÓ family was required to pay and acclimate to the concept of owning a new, unfamiliar dwelling. Although the exact expenses of the building are unknown now, the extremely rich builders required considerably more than their postage to pay for the construction.
Casa Batllˇ vs. Casa MillÓ
Which of these two structures is superior, more fascinating, and more worthwhile of viewing? Naturally, none of these questions can be addressed objectively. Both residences are characteristic of the famous architect Antonio Gaud, yet they are also rather unique. Additionally, the Casa Batllˇ is a terraced home set inside an ensemble of exceptional structures, but the architect of the Casa MilÓ had access to a much wider, less confined site. It is recommended that you tour both residences and develop your own conclusion.
Is it possible for me to visit Casa MilÓ at night?
Yes, Casa MilÓ at night* is a guided tour that takes visitors through all of the tourist attractions and stimulates them with audiovisual displays. Additionally, a glass of champagne is included. Unfortunately, night viewing is not permitted.
How long should you budget for a visit?
On average, how long do you have to wait for admission? Naturally, the wait time varies according to the time of day and season. Those who arrive first thing in the morning, during the cold months, will almost certainly be admitted immediately. In the heat, it might take up to two hours to finally enter the home at noon. Individual excursions should take between 90 and 120 minutes, and most guided trips should be little more than two hours.
What is the optimal time of year to visit Casa MilÓ?
Naturally, during the summertime holiday season, real crowds congregate in front of the city's most iconic structures. Additionally, this is true in front of Casa MilÓ. And once inside after a lengthy wait, the inside is likewise quite crowded. As a result, it is preferable to move to months that are already slow for tourists. By and large, the early bird catches the most worms.