Gaudí’s Casa Batlló: first UNESCO World Heritage site to become live NFT

Light show at Barcelona landmark ahead of Christie’s international auction

Moment of Casa Batlló's light show on May 7, 2022 (by Casa Batlló)
Moment of Casa Batlló's light show on May 7, 2022 (by Casa Batlló) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

May 10, 2022 10:42 AM

The Casa Batlló on Passeig de Gràcia boulevard in Barcelona is the first UNESCO World Heritage site to become a live NFT. Antoni Gaudí’s landmark was the canvas on which media artist Refik Anadol created a digital work that will be auctioned on May 10 by the internationally renowned Christie’s company in New York City.

The auction, 21st Century Evening Sale, will take place in the headquarters of the company and will see the "Casa Batlló: Living Architecture" piece on sale. A "digital representation of the iconic façade, created by the Turkish-American director," the landmark website reads.

Christie’s estimates the selling price of the NFT between $1 million and $2 million, and this will be the only digital work to be offered "within the 5-day series of Christie’s Spring Marquee Week evening sales," an auction that will be live-streamed to viewers worldwide.

Ahead of the auction, on May 7, over 47,000 people were able to watch the digital work as a mapping projection on Casa Batlló’s façade. 

"The landmark was seen around the globe thanks to an unprecedented audiovisual show that was watched from Barcelona, New York, the metaverse, and thousands of houses live. Those who had the chance to watch it, we watched a unique moment in the art history: bringing together a World Heritage site and the digital artwork from Refik Anadol," Gary Gautier, Casa Batlló’s director said in a press release. 

"Thanks to the NFT technology, the art piece is alive as it changes depending on the climate data it collects from the city in real-time and the ephemerides that the Casa Batlló façade celebrates, the piece is infinite as it is under constant change," he added. 

Anadol’s inspiration comes from "Gaudí, and the Casa Batlló. Its façade, the building, the interior, the exterior, each part of the building is a source of inspiration," the media artist said in a press release.  

For him, technology keeps changing every day but "we still do not know how to properly remember our past and heritage. I believe this project is a great example of the use of heritage and history combining it with technology and the future," he added. 

The first live NFT work based on Gaudí’s work will be sold next to works by Warhol, Van Gogh, Monet, Rothko, Basquiat, and Banksy.

Gaudí and Anadol: Architects of the Future

“Casa Batlló: Living Architecture” is the culmination of the collaboration between Casa Batlló and Refik Anadol. Last year, Casa Batlló launched its new immersive tour of Gaudí’s masterpiece, conceived as a journey –with exclusive soundtrack, audio-story, installations and digital rooms– redefining the museum experience and connecting to new and younger audiences worldwide.

For the museum tour’s grand finale, Casa Batlló commissioned Refik Anadol forthe piece “In the Mind of Gaudí”, to be performed in the world’s first six-walls LED cube room, a 360-experience through AI and visual sculpting inside a 6-screen space set up at the building’s basement, to instant acclaim.