The first origins of Art Nouveau architecture in Catalonia are in the new Escola Provincial d’Arquitectura (Provincial Architecture school), created in Barcelona in 1871 and leaded by the architect Elies Rogent i Amat (1821-1897).
Before the foundation of that school, the tendencies to the Art Nouveau had been present in the works of architects as Josep Domènech i Estapà who, instead of his eclectic orientation and his explicit refuse of Art Nouveau, he mustn’t avoid the influences of that style with shapes remembering the Austrian Sezessionstyl.
The tendencies to recovery the medieval heritage started by Viollet-le-Duc had been followed in Catalonia, and completed with the exotic Islamic art and other contributions.
The role of Domènech i Montaner (1849-1923) was essential to define the "Modernisme arquitectonic" (architectonic Art Nouveau) in Catalonia. His article "En busca d’una arquitectura nacional" (In search of a national architecture), published in the review "La Renaixença", reflexes the way to attempt a modern architecture reflexing the national Catalan character.
Gaudí, Domènech i Montaner, Puig i Cadafalch, Enric Sagnier i Villavecchia, Rubió i Bellver and a big group of excellent Catalan architects – some of them related in the next column – fill Catalonia with lots of marvellous buildings.
Using traditional building materials as brick, and new materials (at that time) as iron, the Art Nouveau Catalan architects had been developed new technologies (see the lofts and balconies of La Pedrera, the lofts of Bellesguard, the Palau de la Música, or later the interior of cellars in Pinell de Brai-examples on how far the constructive technologies in brick or ornamentation in iron must come-).
Nevertheless, the Art Nouveau is a style basically oriented to a big development of ornamentation both in façades and interiors. The Art Nouveau produced a huge development of decorative arts helped by the "horror vacui", forcing to decorate any surface (see the Garí House in Argentona or the Macaya House in Barcelona as examples).
The Art Nouveau architecture in Catalonia was developed not only in residential buildings, but also in institutional, religious, sanitary and welfare, educative, industrial and offices buildings.
Institutional buildings: Palau de Justicia, Palau de la Música Catalana and Duana (Customs) in Barcelona, Town Hall of Les Franqueses del Vallès.
Educative bulidings: Santa Teresa School and Jesús and Mary School in Barcelona, Public school in Sant Pol de Mar.
Industrial buildings: Casaramona factory and Hidroelectrica de Catalunya in Barcelona, Isidre Jover factory in Canet de Mar, Aymerich factory, Amat i Jover factory in Terrassa, Brillas & Pagans factory in Celrà.
Offices buildings: Catalana de Gas, Caixa de Pensions in Barcelona, Caixa de Sabadell.
….and lots of other marvellous buildings.
The development of Art Nouveau in Catalan architecture was enormous and is today present all around Catalonia. Following that site it will be possible to know how that interesting and beautiful richness remain in that country.
We will progressively increase the information on the architects and his works.
|Antoni GAUDÍ i Cornet
Lluís DOMÈNECH i MONTANER
Josep PUIG i CADAFALCH
Antoni M. GALLISSÀ i Soqué
Josep Maria JUJOL i Gibert
Cèsar MARTINELL i Brunet
Manel Joaquim RASPALL i Mallol
JoanRUBIÓ i BELLVER
EnricSAGNIER i VILLAVECCHIA
Salvador VALERI i Pupurull