Lluis Domenech I. Montaner (1850-1923)

by | Jun 2, 2024 | Lluís Domènech i Montaner

In Catalonia:

In Barcelona:

Fuster House
Lamadrid House
Lleó Morera House
Thomas House
Museum of Zoology
Editorial Montaner i Simón
Sant Pau Hospital
Palau de la Música
Ramon Montaner Palace

In Canet de Mar:
Ateneu Obrer
Domènech i Montaner House
Roure House (Ca la Bianga)
Santa Florentina Castle
In Olot:
Solà-Morales House

In Reus:
Gasull House
Navàs House
Rull House
Pere Mata Institute

Out of Catalonia:
“Tres caños” fountain (Comillas)
Gran Hotel (Palma de Mallorca)
Pontifícia University (Comillas)


Born in 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 time.

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 Gaudí (see La Pedrera)


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


Contractors: Josep Bayo


Specialists in forging:

    Germans Badía
    Lluís Badía
    Vallet i Piqué

Smelters: Manyach

Carpenters: Casas i Bardé

Glassworkers: Tallers Pelegrí

Ceramists: Sebastiá Ribó

Plasterers: Joan Beltrán

Bibliography on/by Domènech i Montaner

Title of book Author Published by Year
Domènech i Montaner Bassegoda Nonell, J Edicions de Nou Art Thor 1986
Lluís Domènech i Montaner Bohigas, Oriol Lluís Carulla i Canals 1973
Lluís Domènech i Montaner Borrás, M.Ll. La Poligrafa 1970
Inventario general del Modernismo Pons Toujouse, Valentí Ediciones del Serbal 2006
La Iniquitat de
Casp i la fi del comtat d’Urgell :
estudi histórico-polític

Domènech i Montaner, Lluís
El Palau de la Música
Catalana de Lluís Domènech i Montaner 
Domènech i
Montaner, Lluís
Photos: Marc Llimargas
Lluís Domènech i Girbau  
Escrits polítics
i culturals : 1875-1922
Doménech i
Montaner, Lluís
Maria Lluïsa
nacionals de Catalunya : estudi històric
Domènech i Montaner,
Lluís i Domènech i Roura, Felix
Lluís Domènech i Montaner
(1849-1923) El llegat arquitectònic polític i cultural a Canet de Mar
Sàiz i Xiqués, Carles Edicions Els 2 Pins 2008