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Gaudi s First House Casa Vicens Opens for the Public as a Museum in 2017

The Casa Vicens in Barcelona, designed by the famous Spanish architect of Catalan Modernism Antoni Gaudi, will be open as a museum in the second half of this year 2017. The house which happens to be Gaudi’s first work and a World Heritage Site was supposed to open in 2016 but it was re-scheduled for the following year because the renovation works were not complete. Before, the house becomes open for the public, it has been used as a private residential space.

Detalle de la Casa Vicens. Image © Ian Gampon [Flickr], bajo licencia CC BY-ND 2.0

Casa Vicens is located on 24 Carlonies Street in Gràcia district, and it was commissioned to Gaudi, in 1883, by Manel Vicens to be his summer home. The district which is now part of Barcelona was back then a town of its own, which explains the status of the free standing building in a neighborhood known to be populous and packed. In 1925, the house was renovated by architect Joan Baptista Serra de Martínez who followed Gaudi’s in the elevation design and made some additions.

Detalle de la Casa Vicens. Image © Ian Gampon [Flickr], bajo licencia CC BY-ND 2.0

However, the current renovation project which is being engineered by architects José Antonio Martínez Lapeña, Elías Torres and David García, mainly, aims to preserve the essence of Gaudi and the “Modernisme” style which was on the rise in Barcelona in the late 19th and early 20th century. The director of the museum Joan Abellà said to ABC Cataluña, “It is now a living work and we have made every effort to bring back the essence of Gaudí. There are no photos of how the house was furnished in 1885 and therefore it has been decided that it will not be furnished.”

The museum is expected to receive 150,000 visitors annually, with hopes that 20% of the visitors would be locals. The surroundings of the house will be prepared to receive these numbers, with possible plans of turning the street at the entrance to be partly pedestrian. The visitors will pay between €12 and €22 for tickets to access the permanent exhibition which is divided into three sections, the history of the house, the house as a manifesto for the work of Gaudi, and the social, cultural, and artistic context of the house.

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