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Barcelona’s Gaudí-designed La Pedrera shows its restored façade

After 11 months of restoration work, the world-famous Art-Nouveau building located on Barcelona’s Passeig de Gràcia boulevard and officially known as ‘Casa Milà’ is once again showing its unique façade. Designed by the Catalan architectural genius Antoni Gaudí, this wonderfully innovative residential house, also known as La Pedrera (The Quarry), was completed in 1910. With its undulating façade made of white stone and twisted wrought iron decorating the balconies (mostly designed by Josep Maria Jujol), the building initially shocked Barcelona’s bourgeoisie. However, after a few years it had become an iconic symbol of the Catalan capital. Nowadays, it represents perhaps the greatest masterpiece of Catalan modernism and Gaudí’s most famous building together with the Sagrada Família Basilica. 

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22 December 2014 09:50 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- After 11 months of restoration work, the world-famous Art-Nouveau building located on Barcelona’s Passeig de Gràcia boulevard and officially known as Casa Milà is once again showing its unique façade. Designed by the Catalan architectural genius Antoni Gaudí, this wonderfully innovative residential house, also known as La Pedrera (The Quarry), was completed in 1910. With its undulating façade made of white stone and twisted wrought iron decorating the balconies (mostly designed by Josep Maria Jujol), topped by knight-shaped large chimneys, the building initially shocked Barcelona’s bourgeoisie. However, after a few years it had become an iconic symbol of the Catalan capital. Nowadays, it represents perhaps the greatest masterpiece of Catalan modernism and Gaudí’s most famous building together with the Sagrada Família Basilica. Furthermore, La Pedrera was declared by UNESCO as part of the World’s Heritage, together with other Gaudí’s works.


The restoration work cost €1.25 million, paid for by the Catalunya-La Predrera Foundation, which owns most of the building and is run by CatalunyaCaixa savings bank. Most of the work has already been paid for by the 2,600 square metre advertisement fixed to the scaffolding, which paid for 50% of the total €1.25 million due to its premium location on Barcelona’s most expensive street, which has become a world landmark for luxury shopping. The foundation’s global work in social and cultural areas has not been affected by the renovation, nor the tourist visits to the building. In fact, during 2014, more than a million people visited Casa Milà, a figure similar to last year’s.

On Monday, a ceremony to officially welcome the restored façade has taken place, despite the scaffoldings having been off for a few days already. The Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, thanked the work afforded by the private foundation, which also manages the visits to the building. He also praised the foundation’s social work for people in need. The Catalan Minister for Culture, Ferran Mascarell, was also present. Mascarell stated that “a country that takes care of its heritage is a country that looks forward”. He also added that such restoration work and unique heritage helps to explain “Catalonia’s singularity”. 

This restoration work is the third one carried out since the 1990’s. It focused on cleaning the stone and repairing the small breaches that have appeared over the years. In addition, they have set and applied a preventive treatment, which will better preserve the stone and iron, and will make future restorations easier. The stone’s porosity allows water to seep through, which reaches the metal structure and makes it expand, provoking the small breaches.

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  • A detail of La Pedrera's façade after its restoration, showing Christmas decorations (by T. Somoza)

  • La Pedrera in Barcelona's Passeig de Gràcia (by T. Somoza)

  • A detail of La Pedrera's façade after its restoration, showing Christmas decorations (by T. Somoza)
  • La Pedrera in Barcelona's Passeig de Gràcia (by T. Somoza)