Casa Milà – La Pedrera
The Casa Milà (Milà House) in Barcelona, also known as “La Pedrera” (the Quarry), is one of the most famous buildings designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudì.
The house, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was built from 1905 to 1912 in the typical Catalan Modernisme style; yet, with this building, Gaudì pushed the style and its distinctive elements beyond the limits.
Located in the Eixample district, the building is indeed an example of an extremely skillful design whose facades present complex shapes that recall mineral concretions (hence the popular name “La Pedrera”), organic forms, and obscure religious symbols.
The courtyards and the interior spaces are, if possible, even more articulated and fascinating. In the plan, the Milà house expresses quite a modern approach to a residential space. Indeed, rather than adding a single central court, Gaudì designed two sinuous courtyards, looking like they were carved into the solid mass of the building, providing daylight, architectural articulation, and a fascinating relationship between inside and outside to each apartment in the house.
The roof terrace of the Pedrera, along with being a panoramic space overlooking one of Barcelona’s most characteristic neighborhoods, is an outstanding open-air exhibition of zoomorphic sculptural chimneys and decorations which recall those of the Guell Park designed by Gaudì between 1900 and 1914.
Casa Milà, detail of the façade. Photo: Joe Nestlerode
One of Pedrera’s courtyards. Photo: Mattia Panciroli
Antoni Gaudì, Casa Milà, 3rd-floor plan, and transverse section
Along with an architectural masterpiece, the Milà is also a museum and an exhibition center, managed by the Catalunya-La Pedrera foundation. The museum is focused both on the building itself and, more generally, on the artistic career of Gaudì.
At the attic, a gallery called Espai Gaudì (Gaudì’s Space) depicts the architecture and design of the Catalan architect through models, drawings, objects, and multimedia exhibits. It is also possible to visit an apartment which was re-fitted with original furniture designed by Gaudì himself.
Casa Milà is also a dynamic cultural venue frequently hosting temporary exhibitions, concerts, conferences, and educational activities. The center includes a bookshop and a cafe.
Casa Milà, the attic. Photo: Joe Nestlerode.
Cover image: Casa Milà, exterior view by Inexhibit
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