Barcelona in 21 December 1850, Lluís Domènech i Montaner had shown
his passion for architecture from a young age.
He initially studied physics and natural sciences, but
after two courses in Madrid studying Engineering, he decided to study
architecture. He became an architect in Barcelona in 1873.
From his position as a Professor and Director of the Escola d'Arquitectura
de Barcelona (Barcelona School of Architecture), he exerted a major
influence in the development and expansion of Modernisme (Art Nouveau).
The role of Domènech i Montaner (1849-1923) was
essential to defining the "Modernisme Arquitectonic" (architectural Art
Nouveau) in Catalonia. His article "En busca d'una arquitectura nacional"
(In search of a national architecture), published in the review "La
Renaixença", shows the way to attempt a modern architecture expressing the
national Catalan character.
His buildings reveal a mixture between rationalism and the fabulous
ornamentation inspired in the Hispano-Arabic architecture and the
curvilinear motifs typical of Art Nouveau.
In the Restaurant of the Park de la Ciutadella of Barcelona (1888) (at
present Museum of Zoology), he applied very advanced solutions (iron
structure and ceramics) developing them later in the Palau
de la Música Catalana (1908) - whic has a fantastic coverage of mosaic,
ceramics and polychrome glass, as well as in other buildings erected after this
These features are also present in his greatest architectural ensembles:
The Hospital de Sant Pau in Barcelona and the
Institut Pere Mata in Reus.
An interesting characteristic of Domènech i Montaner's work is the
evolution towards lightness that is evident in the Palau de la Música
Catalana and wich is the very opposite to the weighted structures of
(see La Pedrera).
Lluís Domènech i Montaner died in Barcelona on 27 December 1923.
Domènech i Montaner had the help of the best Catalan specialists in
the applied arts relating to his architecture, such as architects, sculptors and
craftsmen (Contractors, decorators, specialists in forgig, smelters,
carpenters, glassworkers, ceramists, plasterers, etc.), all of them
developing in their own fields, an enormous body of work wich was essential to
assuring an extraordinary quality in the architect's designs. Naturally, given the passage
of time and historical vicisitudes, much of the
information available on this individuals has been lost, but we can still
get to know many of
these exceptional technicians and workers, some of whom we mention next:
Antoni Maria Gallissà i Soqué
Josep Maria Jujol i Gibert
Eusebi Arnau i Mascort
Specialists in forging:
Vallet i Piqué
Casas i Bardé