The domestic life of the bourgeoisie in Barcelona in the 20th century

In Barcelona, as time went by, the family houses of the bourgeoisie in Ciutat Vella were left behind. The bourgeoisie established themselves in the great modernist houses of the Eixample quarter. In these houses we found different apartments. Generally not only the owner family lived, but they also rented houses to other families. This was the case of such iconic houses as Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, Casa Amatller or Casa de les Punxes

The hierarchy of the floors

During the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries there was a great difference in social class between those families that could have their own home and those that could not. Among those families without the possibility of owning their own home, there were some with sufficient economic capacity to rent one of the apartments in one of these.

 

The first buildings of this type had similar characteristics. The Cerdà plan established a maximum height and this did not prevent finding solutions to make more floors in height than could be built in principle. Therefore, in the Eixample district it is common to find half-buried floors (where today we can find different businesses) and mezzanines at half height. All the apartments where the owner family did not live were rented, so it was important to get the most out of them. When commerce came to the neighborhood, the first floors were dedicated to stores.

 

The owners always lived on the main floor. One explanation for this fact is the lack of elevators in most buildings, since it was a very recent invention. The upper floors were the most difficult to rent. Not only did they have the difficulty of having to walk up and down, but they were also socially discredited.

Service and Parenting

Today we could consider it a social privilege that parents can have time to be with their children, since it implies some conciliation between work and family life. In contrast, at the beginning of the 20th century the distance between parents and children was the clearest symbol of economic and social importance. The more privileged the parents were in these terms, the more service they had contracted and the more part of this service took care of the children's education.

 

In some families, the distance was such that until the age of eighteen the children did not sit at the table with their parents. At a bourgeois house we always found at least a cook, a waitress and a nanny. In addition to the nanny, we also found the figure of the wet nurse, that mother so precarious that she breastfed the children of the bourgeois family in addition to her own. Sometimes, the wet nurse lost her milk and then became a dry nurse.

life of the bourgeoisie in BarcelonaThe popular summer holidays

Summering outside the city was not a common occurrence during the 19th century, only a few families went on vacation near Barcelona such as Sarriá, Vallvidrera or Bonanova.

At the beginning of the 20th century the small town of Caldes d'Estrac and its thermal waters became popular. It was common to see the bourgeoisie of Barcelona parade along the Paseo de los Ingleses, the center of the bourgeois social life of the place. It was easy to reach Caldes by train and later by car. Today, Caldes d'Estrac, is still known for its thermal waters and to be one of the favorite summer places of the old bourgeoisie.

During the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries, many things happened in Barcelona and its bourgeoisie. Among them, the construction of the Eixample of Barcelona. This was one of the events with more impact on the bourgeoisie of the city, if you want to know more about it, do not miss our article on the Eixample of Barcelona, history and curiosities.

If you also want to know how the bourgeoisie lived in this new Eixample under construction, you can discover it in this other article on the life of the Barcelona bourgeoisie in the Eixample.

Sources: Permanyer, Ll. (2015) La Barcelona d'ahir: L'esplendor de la burgesia. Barcelona: Angle Editorial.

The life of the Barcelona bourgeoisie in the Eixample

The Eixample adventure 

In order to understand how the bourgeoisie of Barcelona lived, we have to look at the second half of the 19th century. Some Barcelona habitants were offered the opportunity to break away from the tradition of the family home in Ciutat Vella and start a new life in the modern Eixample district. The neighborhood was so new that it still did not have electricity, running water or sewers when some adventurers began their move. These pioneers in inhabiting the Eixample were known as "protomartyrs". 

At the beginning of the 20th century the situation did not improve much for these bourgeois adventurers, who still lived without roads with their magnificent shoes full of dust. When it rained, the muddy area that dominated the city was such that it received the bad name of "Can Fanga", alluding to the mud that flooded the streets, called "fang" in Catalan. Can you imagine what it must have been like to walk around in those elegant suits and dresses through all that dirt?

barcelona bourgeoisie walking down the avinguda diagonal
Francesc Blasi i Vallespinosa. Arxiu Fotogràfic Centre Excursionista de Catalunya

New homes, new ways to live 

The new neighborhood allowed them to rethink the ways of living so far. The houses that followed the Cerdà model were elongated to favor sound isolation, giving each end to a facade with balconies. 

 

In these elongated apartments and houses the decoration was the protagonist, concretely the modernist decoration that impregnated the interiors of the rooms from the ceiling to the floor, passing through walls, furniture and all the elements that integrated them. 

It was a great time for furniture makers, decorators and even architects who were encouraged to design interior decorations for their own projects. 

 

Also, very interesting were those modernist architectural projects that did not comply with the Cerdà model or that complied with it in an exceptional way, as is the case of the Casa de les Punxes. The irregular plot in which this building is located is much smaller than others in the Eixample. This meant that the architect did not have to design a large central garden, a typical urban resource in the area. But rather had enough small interior patios to respect the guidelines of the Cerdà plan.

New trendy streets

The well known Plaza Cataluña became one of the great meeting points at the beginning of the 20th century, joining the old and new sides of the city of Barcelona. 

The Paseo de Gracia also became a famous protagonist of the early century. Not only for the great modernist works that we can find in it, but for being the first street in Barcelona to be paved. This made it the ideal street to walk with horse-drawn carriages, without the clatter of tiles.

The great Diagonal Avenue was also one of the most fashionable streets. Directly connected to Paseo de Gracia and with a large extension of land it houses great modernist works such as the Palau Baó de Quadras, the Casa de les Punxes and others. You can discover a small selection of our favorites in this article about 5 modernist buildings on Avinguda Diagonal

The Eixample of Barcelona and its construction was one of the events with more impact on the bourgeoisie of the city. If you want to know more about it, do not miss our article on the Eixample of Barcelona, history and curiosities.

Sources: Permanyer, Ll. (2015) La Barcelona d'ahir: L'esplendor de la burguesia. Barcelona: Angle Editorial.

Manuel Ballarín and the Art of Modernist Forging

Manuel Ballarín y Lancuentra is known for having been one of the best forger of Catalan Modernism. His talent earned him many collaborations with the great modernist architect Puig i Cadafalch.

Start

Manuel Ballarín was born on September 23rd, 1863. With little more than twenty years he founded his own workshop of forge and artistic foundry: "Casa Ballarín". This workshop would eventually become one of the most famous in Barcelona and would have more than 20 workers. 

Manuel Ballarín worked on the main works of Puig i Cadafalch such as the Casa de les Punxes or the Casa Amatller. His professional relationship was so close that Puig i Cadafalch became a partner of Casa Ballarín in 1898, after collaborating with him in three of his works.

His work is not limited to Puig i Cadafalch, but we can admire it when we walk along the Paseo de Gracia in Barcelona, since he collaborated in the manufacture of the famous benches of that walk.

Serial pieces: the revolution of the forge

In 1900, Ballarín innovates in its services and offers a catalog of modernist forged pieces. This catalog offered the possibility of combining these pieces in a personalized way and its serial production managed to lower its cost greatly . This is considered one of its most characteristic gestures, which contributed to modernize the forge of the time.

Relationship with Puig i Cadafalch

Puig i Cadafalch was not only his workshop partner and the architect for whom he did most of the work, but he was also the one who made a house for him.

Puig i Cadafalch made a house for Manuel Ballarín in 1907, when he and Ballarín had already worked together on nine projects. Ballarín accompanied Puig i Cadafalch from his first house in Barcelona: the Casa Martí. His collaborations extended for 15 years in such emblematic works as the Casa Serra, the Palau del Baró de Quadras or the Casa Macaya.

Did you know Manuel Ballarín? He is one of our favorite artisans. If you want to know more about the artisans of the Casa de les Punxes, you can find them here.

10 modernist artists you should know about

Almost everyone knows the great modernist architects such as Gaudí, Domènech i Montaner or Puig i Cadafalch but not so many know the great painters, sculptors and other artists who worked with them or on their own great works. Today we share with you a selection of 10 Catalan artists of Catalan modernism that you should know.

1 Lluís Domènech i Montaner

Domènech i Montaner was not only a well-known modernist architect of his time, but also responsible for the training of other great architects of his time such as Gaudí and Puig i Cadafalch. He is known as one of the most famous and valued artists of Catalan Modernism, and several of his works have been catalogued as World Heritage by UNESCO. He is the author of buildings such as the modernist enclosure of Sant Pau, the Lleó Morera house and the Palau de la Música Catalana. 

2 Ramón Casas

Ramón Casas is one of the most famous modernist painters, especially for his well-known portraits of prominent figures. Among those who passed through his brushes, we can find Pablo Picasso, Puig i Cadafalch and Santiago Rusiñol. Ramón Casas i Carbó was born in Barcelona on January 4, 1866. He is known as one of the great painters of Catalan modernism for his various creations. From portraits to posters, postcards and even comics, they all form part of his work. Through his work, we can better understand the life of the early 20th century and its great artists.

3 Josep Llimona i Bruguera

Josep Llimona i Bruguera is one of the most famous sculptors of Catalan modernism and a famous collaborator of Gaudí. Josep Llimona is considered one of the main representatives of modernist sculpture. Among his prolific works, one of his most outstanding is "Desconsuelo", which won an honorary prize at the Barcelona International Art Exhibition in 1907. He also collaborated with Gaudí in Montserrat to create the sculpture "Cristo ressucitat". In 1920 the entire room of the Barcelona Art Exhibition was dedicated to him in homage. A few years later, he created the statue of St. George, considered one of his masterpieces.

4 Antoni Maria Gallissà

Antoni Maria Gallissà is an important modernist architect, a close friend of Josep Puig i Cadafalch and a regular collaborator of Lluís Domènech i Montaner. One of his most famous and well-known architectural works is the Casa Llopis Bofill in Barcelona. As for Gallissà, despite being an architect, it must be said that he also stood out a lot in the design of decorative elements. 

5 Josep Maria Jujol

Josep Maria Jujol i Gibert was a Catalan modernist artist and a regular collaborator of Gaudí.

During his studies, Jujol worked with architect and professor Antoni Maria Gallissà i Soqué (he was considered a great teacher) to carefully design decorative details. Josep Maria Jujol had not even finished his studies when he started working with Gaudí in places like La Pedrera, Casa Batlló or Park Güell. Besides maintaining a close relationship with great modernist architects such as Gallissa or Gaudí, Jujol also created a very personal style. He is characterized by his great attention to detail, his religious decorations and the colorism of his works.

6 Antoni Gaudí

Can anything new be said about the great architect of nature? Who does not know his work? We can tell you a couple of curiosities that not everyone knows. For example, Gaudí almost never designed his works on plans, but rather on three-dimensional models in full detail. This way, collaborators could see it as he had projected it in his mind. Another detail that we confess is that the famous technique of "trencadís" that we can see in his work, was invented by himself and was used for the first time in the construction of the Güell estate.

7 Josep Puig i Cadafalch

The young Puig i Cadafalch was one of Domènech i Montaner's disciples. He is considered one of the last representatives of Catalan modernism and one of the first representatives of Noucentisme. His works are usually divided into three periods: modernist, idealist, rationalist and memorialist. During his modernist period, he created famous works such as Casa Amatler, Casa Martí or one of his most famous works: Casa Terradas or Casa de les Punxes.

8 Pere Caselles

Pere Caselles i Tarrats was a very important modernist architect for Reus. When he was young he was an assistant to Domènech i Montaner and discovered architectural modernism directly in collaboration with the Pere Mata Institute. Most of the modernist buildings in Reus are attributed to Caselles, although not all were signed by him. As a municipal architect, he was not allowed to accept private commissions because it was considered incompatible.Many of his plans were signed by his friend, also an architect, Pau Monguió.

9&10 IIsidre Gili and Pau Salvat

These are not one, but two modernist architects who projected much of their work together.

A curious fact about Isidre Gili and Moncunill is that not all their work is in Catalonia, but they also have it in Logroño. His works in Barcelona are of small dimensions.  Most of his work can be found in Igualada. In this city he began to design projects with Pau Salvat and later they would also design in Lleida.

Pau Salvat was not only a great modernist architect, but he was also an editor, specifically of Salvat Editors, the publishing house he inherited from his father.

Salvat was the municipal architect of Igualada, where he designed several buildings with Gili.

Isidre Gili and Pau Salvat met for a few years in Igualada and later in Lleida and designed emblematic buildings in both cities.

What did you think? Did you know all these modernist artists? If you are still curious and want to know more, click on their name to discover our articles about them.

Modernist stained-glass windows, between innovation and tradition

The modernist artists recovered the old technique of decorative stained-glass and introduced it in their architectural works. This meant a revolution in their use, manufacture and traditional themes.

Themes

The passage of the decorative stained-glass from the religious to the civil area brought about a modernization of the existing themes and the creation of new ones destined to the decoration of spaces where until then it was not usual to find them as halls, offices, shops. 

With the modernist buildings appear new decorative motifs, among which the production of floral and plant themes predominate. During the Modernism, the stained-glass became popular and reached all the daily spaces, being incorporated in the furniture as a decorative element and going beyond the representations of religious character.

Industrialization 

While the manufacture of the stained-glass continues to be a craft and the imprint of industrialization is very low, the same does not happen with the systems for processing the raw material: glass. The mechanization of the production of the glass plate involves: 

  • A wide variety of printed glass using new models with many textures and shades. 
  • The glass molds are produced in series from a matrix. These are small glass pieces that could have different colors and shapes (circular, square, rhomboid, etc) and were manufactured industrially. In the modernist stained-glass windows it is customary to use combinations with other types of glass. 

Researches

Parallel to the industrialization process, with their research the modernist glassmakers solve the problems of firing that presented the stained-glass windows of previous times and improve the ancient techniques of polychrome on glass. 

From the research carried out at this time, three technical contributions should be highlighted: cloisonné glass, Tiffany glass and “tricromía”.

  • Cloisonné glass: It is made from small glass balls that fill the holes created by copper filaments. Everything is glued between two sheets of glass.
  • Tiffany glass: It was created in 1900 and it is not dyed. Oxides are used in the making of the drawings and the pieces are baked.
  • Tricomía Glass: This is a superposition of glass composed of two or more sheets of different colors or primary colors. The result is a composition that weighs a lot, which caused it to be used less and less.
  • Mosaic glass: It is characterized by a minimal pictorial intervention in the glass. The glass is the protagonist and the plays of light and colors are obtained by combining glasses of different typologies and tonalities. 

On the other hand, lead, which until then had only been considered a basic element for supporting the glass plates, will become the main element of the design.

Unlike the glassmakers of previous periods, many modernist artists will receive academic training at the Llotja School in Barcelona. This education will provide the specialist with more training than the traditional medieval craftsmanship, developed within a guild structure. 

Did you know all these data about the modernist stained-glass windows? If you are interested in modernist craftsmanship you can't miss these 5 modernist smiths that you should know.

Pere Caselles i Tarrats, the modernist jewel of Reus

Pere Caselles i Tarrats was a very important modernist architect for Reus. Most of the city's modernist buildings are his work, although curiously not all bear his signature.

Beginnings

Pere Caselles i Tarrats was born on 1 November 1864 in Reus. During his youth, he studied in Barcelona and obtained the title of architect at the age of 25, in 1889. The following year, he was already the municipal architect of Terol and a year later, of Reus, a position he held for almost all his life. During this stage he became Domènech i Montaner's assistant and discovered architectural modernism first-hand with his collaboration in the works of the Pere Mata Institute.

Pere Mata Institute

Authorship controversy

Most of the modernist buildings in Reus are attributed to Caselles, although not all are signed by him. As a municipal architect, he was not allowed to receive private commissions, since he was considered incompatible. Many of his plans were signed by his friend Pau Monguió, the architect from Tarragona of his promotion. Some Monguió’s works in Tortosa were also signed by Pere Caselles, for the same reason, since the former was the town's municipal architect. The plans given to the owners that are still preserved do not coincide in terms of signatures with those of the building permit files, which is why it is difficult to ensure that some buildings were designed by him.

 

Casa Munné/Abelló, Estació Enològica, Casa Sagarra

 

Final

Pere Caselles i Tarrats was murdered at the beginning of the civil war, on 28 July 1936. His file was destroyed during the raid on his office, the same day he died from a gunshot wound. Pau Monguió's archive was also destroyed by a bomb, so studying his relationship and the authorship of his works is a difficult task.

 

Do you know of any other examples of modernist authors with controversial authorship? If you found it interesting, we recommend you to discover Francesc Berenguer, the shadow of Gaudí.

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?

Hydraulic ceramics, the modernist pavement

Have you ever noticed the floors of modernist buildings? Their decoration is so detailed that they look like carpets! Most of these floors are made of hydraulic ceramics, a type of handcrafted flooring very common during the Art Nouveau era.

Relation with Art Nouveau

Until the middle of the 19th century, noble floors were mainly made of marble. But at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1867, a new type of tile was presented that would largely banish the old materials: a tile that was made without firing, only with presses. This was the birth of hydraulic flooring. In Barcelona, the great expansion of this material coincided with Modernism. For this reason, great architects of the time such as Lluís Domènech i Montaner or Josep Puig i Cadafalch incorporated it into their buildings.

Composition

The hydraulic tile was manufactured piece by hand. It had three layers:

  • The visible, decorative layer, based on a mixture of white marble powder, white cement, sand and pigments. This is the visible surface. It was about 5mm thick. The colors of the designs were created by adding the color pigments to the mixture and adding a little of mixture to each segment of the mold to make the desired drawing.
  • The body, which was similar in thickness, was made only of gray Portland cement and sand, which absorbed excess water from the thin layer.
  • Base of the tile, made with gray cement and sand, about 12 mm thick, and is the layer that adhered to the floor. Its porous surface meant that it adhered easily when the tile was laid.

Characteristics

The entire mold with the three layers was placed in a hydraulic press, which consolidated it under pressure. Once the operation was completed, a hardening process began, which required the necessary humidity to strengthen the cement. The name hydraulics comes from being submerged in water for 24 hours and then kept moist.

The measurements of the hydraulic mosaics were diverse, there were 10 x 10 cm, 20 x 20 cm, 40 x 40 cm and even more measurements. Their designs often had floral and vegetal motifs inspired by the classic models. On the floors of the Casa de les Punxes you can find some of them designed and decorated by Enric Monserdà and other modernist artists and a small permanent exhibition on hydraulic flooring. You can also buy a replica of a tile from different modernist buildings in our shop.

Did you know about hydraulic flooring? How it was manufactured? If you want to know more about the pottery of the Casa de les Punxes, visit this entry about the secrets of the pottery of the Casa de les Punxes.

10 curiosities you need to know about Gaudí

You are probably familiar with the works of the world's most famous Catalan Modernist architect: La Pedrera, Casa Batlló, La Sagrada Família... His life is often much less well known. That's why we have made this compilation of 10 curiosities about Gaudí, so that you can get to know him a little better:

Childhood

  1. Even today, where Gaudí was born is a mystery. Some biographies indicate that he was born in Reus, while others indicate that he was born in Riudoms.
  2. He was a very sickly child, who spent long periods of rest in the Mas de la Calderera, a family country house in Riudoms where he could have been born and observed the nature he would later use in his work.
  3. The director of his primary school, Francesc Berenguer, was the father of one of his great collaborators: Francesc Berenguer i Mestres.

Studies

  1. When he moved to Barcelona, he worked while studying to pay for his architectural studies, in which he did not stand out as a good student, but was rather irregular.
  2. When he finished his studies, the director of the School of Architecture, Elies Rogent, declared about him: "I don't know if we gave the degree to a madman or a genius, time will tell".
  3. Two years before he finished his studies, his brother and mother died. A year after finishing them, his other sister died, leaving a niece with serious health problems in the care of him and her father.

Work

  1. His relationship with Eusebi Güell was not only one of patronage, but also one of his deepest friendships.
  2. He almost never designed his works on plans, but on three-dimensional models in every detail. In this way, the collaborators could see them as he had projected them in his mind.
  3. His famous "trencadís" technique was invented by himself and was used for the first time in the construction of the Güell estate.
  4. When he died, he was run over by a tram and nobody recognized him because of his careless appearance, until he met the priest of the Sagrada Familia in the hospital. 

What did you think? Did you know these curiosities about Gaudí? 

The modernist craftsmen of the Casa de les Punxes

Who designed the incredible ceramic panels? And who made the detailed and delicate wrought-iron flowers on the façade? Who made sure that the windows were one of the main atractions at the entrances to the house? Here we introduce you to the modernist craftsmen of the Casa de les Punxes and we answer all these questions.

Enric Monserdà

Enric Monserdà was in charge of all the decoration of Casa de les Punxes. This was not the first time he worked together with Puig i Cadafalch for the Terradas family. He had already been in charge of the decoration of the family's Mas Sobrevia in Seva. In this ancestral home, where he worked between 1901 and 1905, religious decoration was the main feature, as is usual in the decorations of Monserdà. His relationship with the Terradas family was so close that he had lived for long periods both in Mas Sobrevia and in the Casa de les Punxes, for reasons of rest and relaxation in the case of the former, and temporarily set up his studio in the Punxa Principal in the latter.

The peculiarity of his style is very present in the decoration of Casa de les Punxes, where we find representations of religious figures such as Saint George and several symbols that refer to the Church and the Holy Trinity. Of his designs in the Casa Terradas, we highlight the incredible ceramic panels, as well as the designs of the details of the stained-glass windows and the decorative elements of artificial stone and iron. Monserdà not only designed the decoration of the walls, façades, floors and ceilings, but also participated in the decoration of the furniture inside the house.

 

Casa de les Punxes

Amigó Workshop

It was known in its time as the most important glass workshop in Barcelona. The artists Josep and Joaquim Amigó, among others, worked together with Enric Monserdà, who was the artistic director of the workshop.

The works of the Amigó Workshop are present in such important works of Catalan Modernism as the Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Familia or the Casa de les Punxes. In the latter, the windows of the entrances to the house are particularly noteworthy, with vegetable and floral motifs in different colors and textures. This vegetable decoration, together with the wrought iron details of the railings and the sgraffito motifs on the walls of the staircase, introduces nature into the house, creating continuity with the decoration of the façades.

 

Vitral taller Amigó modernist craftmens

Manuel Ballarín i Lancuentra

Ballarín was one of the main modernist forgers who existed in Catalonia. During his years of work he collaborated with different architects and artists of the time, but especially with Puig i Cadafalch. Their collaboration was so close that Puig and Cadafalch became partner in his workshop "Manuel Ballarin y Cia S.L.".

The Ballarin Workshop innovated and modernized the production of modernist forging, making pieces in series in a mechanized way. These pieces were arranged in a catalog from which you could choose predefined designs. This technique greatly reduced the cost and selling price of its pieces.

In the Casa de les Punxes we can find details of forging by Manuel Ballarín all over the outside of the house, on the roof, on the entrances and even in the Punxes. His motifs are always vegetable and floral, forming part of the nature that surrounds and forms part of the Casa de les Punxes.

 

Taller Ballarín modernist craftmens

Alfons Juyol i Bach

Juyol was a Catalan sculptor specialized in architectural decoration. He shared a prestigious sculpture and stonework workshop with his brother Josep Juyol known as "Juyol Brothers". He was a very perfectionist and had the peculiarity of making models of the decorations that he would make to the facades of the buildings that hired him.

Alfons Juyol collaborated with great modernist architects such as Puig i Cadafalch and Domènech i Montaner in buildings such as Casa Amatller, Casa Macaya, Casa León Morera and the Palau Baró de Quadres. Other great modernist artists such as the founder Manuel Ballarín, the sculptor Eusebi Arnau, Miquel Utrillo, the ceramist Maragliano and the decorators Moragas and Alarma also trusted their work.

Juyol collaborated very closely with Puig i Cadafalch in many of his works and the Casa de les Punxes is one of them. We can find details of his work such as the stone decoration of the Main Punxa with the anagram of Àngela Terradas Brutau, among others. You can discover it in this link from one of our guides.

Did you know all the modernist craftsmen who collaborated in the Casa de les Punxes? Which one is your favourite?