Look what’s looking down at you
There’s so much to see around you as you walk the streets of the Eixample. Both at ground level and up above, here are a few of the delights you can admire along the way – a mix of classical and modernista styles, some inspired by the indianos who came back from making their fortunes in the Americas and helped to build modern Barcelona.
Art and artifice on every street
Design and skilled craftsmanhip in wood, stone and ironwork are all around you when you walk through the streets of the Eixample. Here is a selection of doors and entrances you can find along the way.
Balconies and balustrades – part 1
A city’s soul – and that of its quarters – is made up of the people who live and work there, the places they meet, eat and have fun, of the visitors and those passing through, but also of the legacy left in its architecture. The streets of the Eixample have their own character, reflected in these images that bear the mark of the designers and architects of the second half of the 1800s, who created this new quarter combining classical and modernista aesthetics to create its distinctive style.
Here’s a wee tour of some of the sights you’ll find as you explore the streets of the quarter.
Balconies, galerías and oriel windows
Look out for more to come in future posts.
Fusion Art Deco
A must-see house in the Eixample
La Casa China – formally known as Casa Ferrán – was unveiled in 1930 and immediately slated by critics, receiving even greater opprobrium and mockery than Gaudí had three decades earlier. Designed by Valencian arquitect Juan Francisco Guardiola Martínez, it was variously described as ridiculous and kitsch.
Guardiola also designed, among others, the Casa Judía in Valencia and his style is quite distinct from the Catalan modernista, reflecting the international Art Deco movement that was reaching its pre-war apogee at the time across Europe and the Western hemisphere. It is, if nothing else, a striking building, with a pagoda-like central turret incorporating Moorish elements.
La Casa China
Sitting triumphantly on the xamfrà junction of Consell de Cent and Muntaner, its base of tall classical Ionic columns with art nouveau embellishments supports a colourist façade with incongruously green-shuttered galerías and typical Eixample balconies projecting from it. It is a mishmash of cultural influences and artistic movements and, kitsch or not it’s a bold and, to me, delightful statement of unapologetic fusion architecture and well worth a visit.
The building is private property and is not open to the public.