de l'Institut Pere Mata, s/n. Reus
Present Condition: Outside:
Good / Inside: Very
for "Distinguished wing". Other wings
are adapted to present medical needs.
To visit the interior and "Distinguished wing" contact previously the Reus
Tourist Information Office.
In the Distinguished wing - the only one who is visited - the ground
has no unevenness and is consequently accessible for wheelchairs,
the upper plant is only accessible through stairs.
Ruta del Modernisme
Lluís Domènech i Montaner and built between 1897
At the end of the 19th century the doctor Emili Briansó and other notables
of Reus as Pau Font de Rubinat, prestigious Catalan's intellectual,
decided to promote a new psychiatric hospital to cover the needs of the
city in this field. Domènech i Montaner that had known Font of Rubinat -
the first president of the Board of the Company constituted in 1896 to
build the hospital, with the name of "Manicomio de Reus (Madhouse of Reus)"
later changed for the present one - during the redaction of the Bases of
Manresa (city in which a political project for the future of Catalonia
presided by Domènech i Montaner was prepared), was the architect selected
to develop this work that is at present one of the most beautiful
Art Nouveau (Catalan Modernista style)
architectural ensembles of Catalonia and the precedent of the great
Sant Pau Hospital in Barcelona.
The medical aspects of the project were consulted to the doctors Rafael
Rodriguez Mendez Hygiene Professor of the Faculty of Medicine of Barcelona
and with Artur Galceran Granés that had been the Director of the
psychiatric Sanatorium of Sant Boi.
The distribution of the spaces was carried out keeping in mind rigorous
criteria according the conditions of sex, illness and social group. Each
building had to have its own garden, besides the common gardens. A central
walk separated the dependences by sexes, besides locating the building of
general services and the chapel.
In fact, the Pere Mata Institute is more than a psychiatric hospital, it
is a small city (with an approximate surface of 20 hectares) in which
Domènech i Montaner applied renewed concepts of town and spaces planning,
ornamentation and materials.
Domènech did not only the design of the outside of the buildings and of
its urban development distribution with buildings surrounded by gardens in
a style that was called "â village" due to it was inspired in projects
developed in France, but also designed all the interior including the
The Institute continues serving at present to the same purposes.
The ensemble is projected dividing the different functions in separated
environments with a total of 6 buildings, subsequently the son of Lluís
Domènech i Montaner - Pere Domènech i Roura - built other to a total of 14
but not of Art Nouveau (Catalan Modernist) style.
The General services
building where the administrative services are found is built in the
centre of the hospital and is dominated by a great tower of 30 meters of
height providing a special character to the ensemble and can be seen from
very far away.
The buildings built by Lluís Domènech i Montaner are typically Art Nouveau
(Catalan Modernist style), the façades of the buildings are of brick and
are adorned with ceramics carried out with designs of Josep Triadó i Mayol
and Lluís Bru i Salelles. The stone is also present.
But the most interesting building is the "Wing of the distinguished",
finished in the year 1908, by its ornamental wealthy and because the
original furniture has been conserved, it is decorated with stained
glasses and iron forged elements. The project of this building contained
an ornamental ensemble so important, that the budget surpassed extensively
the predicted, limiting the execution of the remainder of the project.
This building is comprised of a low plant with three spaces utilized
basically for the leisure of the patients live-in (that only could be men
and naturally of a high economic level) and two flats of rooms many of
them double so that could lodge the service people of the patients.
The low plant is comprised of a parlour also called room of music -
because concerts where done in weekends -, a dining room and a play-room.
Just as already we have advanced, the decoration of these rooms is
extraordinary not only in the common spaces, but also in the private
rooms. We find all over, allegories to the healing of the patients with
typical Catalan Art Nouveau elements as vegetable forms and animals,
heraldic medieval Catalan symbols, etc.
The "horror vacui" or horror to the empty spaces, so typical of Art
Nouveau, is visible on all the walls, profusely decorated.
Domènech i Montaner had special care in
assuring the hygiene and the comfort of the patients. Thus we can see that
although these they were in state of confinement, the grilles are
concealed, the stairs and the round banisters by avoiding accidents and
all the walls (except in the rooms) are covered of ceramics. The colours
of the stained glasses collaborate to create an adequate relaxed
environment to these patients.