Casa Vicens is a modernist building in Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain), designed by Antoni Gaudí. It is located in the neighborhood of Grácia on Calle de las Carolinas, 24. It is considered one of the first buildings of Art Nouveau and was the first house designed by Gaudí. It helps explain the character of his work and also a new chapter in the history of modern architecture.
The style of Casa Vicens is a reflection of Neo-Mudéjar architecture, one of the popular styles that can be seen throughout Gaudí's architecture, including oriental and neoclassical as well. However, what was unique about Gaudí was that he mixed different styles together and incorporated a variety of different materials, such as iron, glass, ceramic tiles and concrete, many of which can be seen in this building. Gaudí broke away from tradition and created his new language of architecture, and Casa Vicens represents a new chapter in the history of Catalan architecture as well as the beginning of a successful career for Gaudí.
The Casa Vicens was commissioned in 1877 by Manuel Vicens i Montaner, an owner of a brick and tile factory living in Barcelona at the time. He inherited this section of land from his mother on August 29, 1877 and hired architect Antoni Gaudí for the project. Manuel then died on April 29, 1895. The house was enlarged in 1925 by Joan Sierra de Martínez.
This early work exhibits several influences, most notably the Moorish (or Mudéjar) influence. Casa Vicens marks the first time Gaudí utilized an orientalist style, mixing together Hispano-Arabic inspiration. This was a style of architecture that completely breaks with the norm of the period. Not only does this house mark Gaudí's coming of age, being his first major work of architecture, but it also represents the flowering of Catalan modern architecture.
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