House of Bones

Antoni Gaudi

About the House of Bones

When Gaudi was first asked to work on this building, he wanted to tear the whole thing down and start completely from scratch. The buyer wasn't going to let that happen though. He asked Gaudi to simply make it better. He wanted it enhanced, and more extravagant. Gaudi did exactly that with what he had. From the outside the façade of Casa Batlló looks like it has been made from skulls and bones. The "Skulls" are in fact balconies and the "bones" are supporting pillars. The roof is arched and was likened to the back of a dragon or dinosaur. The House of Bones is located in Barcelona, Spain.

Commissioner

The building was designed by Gaudí for Josep Batlló, a wealthy aristocrat, as an upmarket home. Señor Batlló lived in the lower two floors with his family and the upper floors were rented out as apartments. Gaudi worked on the interior of the building just as much as he worked on the exterior. There are stain glass windows, a magnificent fireplace, fantastic chandeliers, and quirky additions all throughout. In 1993, the current owners of Casa Batlló bought the home and continued refurbishments throughout the whole building. Two years later, in 1995, Casa Batlló began to hire out its facilities for different events. More than 2,500 square meters of rooms within the building were rented out for many different functions. Due to the building's location and the beauty of the facilities being rented, the rooms of Casa Batlló were in very high demand and hosted many important events for the city.

Construction

The original building was built in 1877. In 1904, they started renovation. Gaudi added more floors, more details, more design, and more creativity. On the noble floor (the main floor), there is a wall of stain glass windows, which lbrings in light and a whole new atmosphere.mgaudi also added a loft to the building. The loft is considered to be one of the most unusual places in the House of Bones. To get through the loft, you must walk through a hallway that is designed to look like a ribcage. So it's almost as if you are walking through the ribcage of the dragon! By then end of 1906, renovation was complete. Gaudi was selected as a candidate for that year's best building award. Despite this incredible creation, the award was given to another architect.
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Artist Statement/Design



Although Gaudí did not write anything specific in this respect, the spectacular facade has given rise to many interpretations. For some people, it reminds them of an oil painting, or of Monet’s Water Lilies; for others it represents a carnival, in which the mosaic tiling is confetti, the wrought-iron balconies are masks, and the pinnacle of the facade is a Harlequin’s hat.

For many, the outside of Casa Batlló represents the legend of Sant Jordi (Saint George), the patron saint of Catalonia, and they interpret the tower with its four arms as the hilt of his sword cleaving the dragon’s back, the balconies as the skulls of the dragon’s victims, and the stone columns as their bones.

My Opinion

I think The House of Bones is a magnificent building that demonstrates creativity in multiple ways. I don't think Gaudi had a specific way he wanted it to be interpreted, but wanted people to use their imagination in what they see. He used lots of color, and made the building come to life, (even though it's made of bones, how artistic).