Casa Milà was the last building the famous Catalan architect, Gaudí, accepted as a commission before focussing completely on his lifetime work, the church of Sagrada Familia.
Inspired by a Catalan mountain Gaudí created a building that was unprecedented during its time. Its sheer size, the organic, but rather plain façade when comparing to Casa Batlló´s opulent façade made it so different to all what Barcelona had seen until then. Its reception by locals and critics was not only positive. On the contrary, it became even ridicule to many people and newspapers.
However, Gaudí was a visionary in those days when integrating the first underground garage of Barcelona into Casa Milà. One can drive through the translucent main portal, make a right turn and the drive down a ramp to the basement. He understood that the automobile will change the means of transportation and that rich families would want all kind of amenities such as having the car inside the building. This was unprecedented in those days.
Modernist Impressions of Casa Milà
Modernist architects like Gaudí often got their inspiration from nature. Read the following article: “Gaudí & Catalan Modernism” to learn more about this art movement that was predominant in Barcelona in the years from 1880-1915. So another main feature of the façade are the balconies made out of metal scrap. All of the are uniquely made and look like leaves or vines.
The roof top – a medieval inspiration
Gaudí´s inspiration for the roof top of the building was medieval Catalan history and castles. Sculptures like knights guard the building whilst you can find knights helmets on top of the chimneys. Within the larger objects you can actually find the former water tanks of the building. The sculptures are decorated with “trencadís” mosaics – a technique that Gaudí perfectionated. The word means broken – Gaudí was a recycler and purchased b-quality tiles from factories, broke them and the put the shards artistically together. He not only used tiles but also glass, mirrors or cups and plates.
What to do in Barcelona
Book a tour and discover Casa Milà. A variety of ticket types are available: visit one of the original apartments and get a glance into how rich families lived along the luxurious boulevard of Passeig de Gracia. The ticket combines a visit to the roof top as well as the attic. There is also a ticket available including an evening light show on the roof top.
Alternatively, learn about Gaudí and his contemporary architects of Modernism during a 2-hours walking tour with The Barcelona Feeling. Read the 50+ reviews about this architectural walking tour: