MASTERS OF MODERSNISM: PUIG I CADAFALCH
Josep Puig i Cadafalch was one of the most prolific architects and town planners in the first half of the 20th century. He was born in the town of Mataró and became one of the key figures in shaping the Catalan nationalist movement. He was the architect behind such modernista landmarks as the Casa Amatller, the Casa Martí (Els Quatre Gats), the Casa Terrades (Casa de les Punxes) and the Casa Macaya. They all bear the imprint of someone who always drew inspiration from the traditional forms of Catalan mansions, the Gothic style and the influence of northern European trends, which used new materials such as exposed brick, tiles and wrought iron to imbue buildings with a medieval feel.
Josep Puig i Cadafalch was also a master of industrial architecture with major buildings such as the Casaramona Factory (CaixaForum), and evolved from modernisme towards an increasingly rationalist architecture culminating in his latter monumental noucentista period. The best example of this is the layout of the Plaça Espanya as the gateway to the 1929 International Exhibition.
4 Hours Tour : Your guide will meet you at your hotel or place that suits you best to start with your modernista Puig I Cadafalch tour in Barcelona. During this tour you’ll learn about Modernisme movement and its great figure Puig I Cadafalch. You’ll experience the grandeur of Barcelona’s turn of the century Eixample, including Casa Amatller, one the most celebrated buildings on the famous Passeig de Gràcia.
You will have an opportunity to enjoy a private guided visit of Casa Amatller. The construction of this private modernist house of Mr. Amatller in the Eixample district of Barcelona are a true example of a period that was full of splendour and history, which would mark a before and after in the city of Barcelona. Chocolate Amatller was founded in Barcelona in 1797. After more than two centuries manufacturing superb quality confectionery, is one of the oldest in Europe.
We’re heading for the Palau Baró de Quadras. Between 1902 and 1903 the architect completely transformed the building, giving it a double facade that made it especially interesting.
Declared a historical monument of national interest in 1976, Casa de les Punxes is one of the most emblematic buildings in Barcelona. Built by the architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch for the Terradas family, it is located right in the heart of the modernist area of Barcelona.
At this point it’s time to have a drink and something to eat, and where better than at Casa Martí – “Els 4 gats”. We head for the historical centre. Locked in an alley, the café-restaurant “Els Quatre Gats” occupies the ground floor of Casa Martí. The building invites us, from an exterior of medieval air, to enter in a cosy interior that was the centre of the meetings of the intellectuals of the modernist Barcelona at the end of the 19th century.
On the ground floor, a poster designed by Pablo Picasso invites us to enter the café-restaurant “Els quatre gats”, heir to the first café, tavern and chat room founded in this same place by Pere Romeu, Santiago Rusiñol and Ramón Cases, where we will enjoy a good meal, some tapas or a coffee.
6 Hours Tour included: After we will head to Plaza Espanya to see spectacular modernist factory. The old textile factory Casaramona is the largest building built by Josep Puig i Cadafalch (1910-1913), now converted into a social and cultural center where exhibitions, concerts are held, among many other activities. Located in Montjuic hill where you can enjoy spectacular views over the city.
- Comfortable clothes and shoes are recommended as there is some walking involved.
- If you have reduced mobility, please contact us before booking. We do our best to welcome everyone on board!
WHAT WILL YOU SEE
Casa amatller: Casa Amatller was remodelled by the architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch between 1898 and 1900. The house already existed, it was a building built in 1875 by the master builder Antoni Robert and known as Casa Martorell. A three-storey building in the neoclassical style typical of the Cerdà Plan. Antoni Amatller bought the building in 1898 and asked Puig to remodel it. Puig i Cadafalch intervened specifically in the reform of the façade, the main floor, the hall, the common spaces (neighbours’ staircase and patio of lights), and the photographic studio in the gable of the house. The strong personality of the owner and his own interests are reflected in the work of the architect.
Palau Baró de Quadras: In 1900, the Baron de Quadras commissioned Josep Puig i Cadafalch to refurbish a residential block on Carrer Rosselló. The architect transformed the building completely, between 1902 and 1903, providing it with two distinct façades which make it particularly interesting. When viewed from the Avinguda Diagonal, the building is reminiscent of North-European palaces, with an intricately carved neo-plateresque style which highlights the noble character of the building. The façade on Carrer Rosselló, retains some elements of the original building, decorated in the “modernista” style, with elements of the “Viennese Sezessionsstil
Casa Macaya: Romà Macaya bought the land of Paseo San Juan in 1899 and commissioned a new building from the architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, consisting of a ground floor, main floor, two upper floors and two towers.
The façade stands out for its white colour, almost striking, if we compare it with other examples by the same architect. The white sgraffito of Joan Paradís’s workshop, made with the technique of ironed stucco, shows some designs that remind us of bobbins, ornamentation that was added to cotton clothes to embellish them. Entering the ground floor of this building, we see a large area for the entrance with the carriage and some small sidewalks on the sides. The arches that divide the space in different smaller areas present a simple decoration obtained with the game of the construction material, the bricks. The colours of this space are the pink of the bricks, although they have been decorated, and the white of the sgraffito that continues in the part of the vestibule on the ground floor.
Casa Marti: Casa Martí was built in 1896 on Barcelona’s Carrer Montsió under the supervision of the architect Puig i Cadafalch. The building looks like a medieval castle, its façade inspired by the European Gothic style and decorated with the characteristic ornamental elements of Catalan art-nouveau, or modernisme.
On the ground floor, a poster designed by Pablo Picasso invites us to enter the café-restaurant “Els quatre gats”, which stands on the site of the original café, inn and literary circle founded by Pere Romeu, Santiago Rusiñol and Ramón Cases. It remained active until 1903, and during these years, intellectuals from the new bohemian and modernist Barcelona attended performances and concerts, and held literary gatherings there. The young Picasso frequented the bar and it was the first place to exhibit his drawings. “Els quatre gats” was the Barcelona gateway to the new artistic tastes that came from Northern Europe, and France in particular, in the style of the Parisian café, Le Chat Noir.
Casa Terrades: The Terradas sisters owned three buildings standing between the Avinguda Diagonal, Carrer Rosselló and Carrer Bruc. Josep Puig i Cadafalch was commissioned to redevelop the buildings and linked them together on one site behind a vast brick façade. His project, which was completed in 1905, resulted in an imposing triangular structure which rises up like a grand medieval castle with four turrets, one on each corner. The nickname, “Casa de les Punxes”, comes from the conical roofs, which end in a spike.
The exterior delights anyone who goes to take a closer look. The brickwork on the façade blends with the wrought-iron on the balconies, designed by Manuel Ballarín, the neo-Gothic style sculptural reliefs by Alfons Juyol, and stained-glass windows by Eduard Amigó. The ceramic panels surmounting the façade refer to the patriotic symbols of Catalonia. Another example of the nationalism that often imbues Catalan “modernisme”.
Casaramona factory: The factory was commissioned by the industrialist Casimir Casaramona, a pioneer in the use of electrical energy in factories, to Josep Puig i Cadafalch. The design of the factory is the result of a brilliant combination of aesthetic and functional criteria. Fully modernist in style, built in traditional maón with wrought iron finishes, the construction was inspired by a romantic vision of a medieval castle. In addition, the building was a pioneer in fire prevention measures (its former factory, in the Raval, was destroyed by fire) and became a benchmark in terms of safety and working conditions for workers.
WHY GAUDÍ TOURS?
- Skip line at all top sites. No need to pre-purchase tickets yourself.
- Specialized agency in Modernism. Exclusive routes.
- Professional and fully licensed local guides
- Totally flexible.
- Personalized visit adapting to your characteristics, age, condition or interests.
- Small Group preference (1 – 9 people). We use individual radio guide for each assistant with big group.
- Travel tips from friends: recommendations to help you plan the rest of your stay in Barcelona.