• Words Agnish Ray
  • Photography Marina Denisova

GOTHIC REVIVAL:
The eclectic ornamentation of Gaudí’s first commission.

Issue 46

,

Interiors

  • Words Agnish Ray
  • Photography Marina Denisova

When Antoni Gaudí graduated from university, the school’s director said that he was either a genius or a madman. It’s uncertain which of the two appealed to Manel Vicens, the stockbroker who commissioned the recently qualified—and somewhat unpredictable—architect to build his summer home in 1883. The result was Casa Vicens, a flamboyant burst of color and style in the elegant village of Gracia (now a district of Barcelona) and the first of Gaudí’s many masterpieces whose collective eccentricity would become the defining symbol of the Catalan capital. 

The hand-painted tiles that adorn the home epitomize the architect’s vivid imagination: Green, white and turquoise ceramics, many painted with marigolds, populate the facade; the naturalist ceiling tiles in the dining room are mad...

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