Isidre Gili and Pau Salvat, the modernist tandem

Isidre Gili i Moncunill and Pau Salvat i Espasa were unconventional Catalan modernist architects who designed part of their work together.

Isidre Gili i Moncunill

A curious fact about Isidre Gili i Moncunill is that not all his work is in Catalonia, but he also has some in Logroño.

His works in Barcelona are of small dimensions, such as the Casa Ernest Castellar (1914-1915), a building between party walls, elongated and with a modernist decoration that includes sgraffito, ceramic decoration and plays of colours.

The most prolific and diverse part of his work can be found in Igualada, where we find several of his works of an industrial nature, modernist reforms such as “Cal Blai” or iconic houses such as the well-known “Ca la Mamita”, also called “Cal Franquesa” (1905-1906). In this city he began to design projects with Pau Salvat and later they would also design in Lleida.

Finally, we find the work he did in Logroño, a four-storey house for the successful businessman Antoni Garrigosa Borrell, which became known as “Casa A. Garrigosa” (1902). In this house, workers and materials imported from Catalonia took part and to build the viewpoints it was necessary to modify a municipal ordinance. The ceramic decoration and the sgraffito on the façade of this building stand out.

 Casa Ernest Castellar / Can La Mamita / Casa A. Garrigosa

Pau Salvat i Espasa

Pau Salvat was not only a great modernist architect, but also an editor, specifically of Salvat Editors, the publishing house he inherited from his father. From 1916, the latter moved its headquarters to a building he designed himself.

Salvat, in addition to being an architect and publisher, was also very involved with the political and cultural contemporaneity of the time: he was president of the Association of Architects of Catalonia, of the Catalan Institute of the Arts of the Book and of the Centre for Intellectual Property. He was also a councillor of the Barcelona City Council for a while, until he had to retire for health reasons.

Salvat was the municipal architect of Igualada, where he designed several buildings with Gili and planned the cemetery of the poor (1909) and the Igualadí Athenaeum Theatre (1913). He designed the Casa Oller in Barcelona, with influences from Puig and Cadafalch and the Editorial Salvat building, among others.

Teatro Ateneo Igualadí / Casa Oller / Editorial SalvatTheir work in common

Isidre Gili and Pau Salvat met for a few years in Igualada and then in Lleida.

In Igualada, while Salvat was the municipal architect, they built the emblematic Igualada Slaughterhouse (1903-1905), a covered market, popularly called “La Pajarera” (1905-1910) and Cal Ratés (1908).

Igualada Slaughterhouse (1903-1905)"La Pajarera" (1905-1910) Cal Ratés (1908).In Lleida, they also built an emblematic building of the city, the Main Casino (1913-1920). This building is characterized by its historicist style and the columns with Ionic capitals on which the semicircular arches rest stand out.

Did you know these two modernist architects? Do you know more modernist architects working together?