I’m sure that when you hear about Barcelona you will immediately think of Gaudi and modernist architecture (Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell, Casa Batlló…). But the truth is, Barcelona is full of modernist buildings that sometimes go unnoticed. Let’s give these works of art some justice and show off some of these not so popular places.
Casa Ametller (1898-1900) was designed by Puig and Cadafalch as a residence for the chocolatier Antoni Ametller. It’s next to Casa Batlló, who gets most of the attention. Long queues and curious eyes fill up the pavement in front of Casa Batlló, but only few notice the neighbouring sight. You can even have access (for free) to the hall and admire the staircase, the service door, and some magnificent lamps.
In Passeig de Gràcia and also in Avinguda Gaudí (near the Sagrada Familia) it’s worth to have a look at the great modernist street lights. They are fully ornamented and forged with iron, and were designed by Falqués at the beginning of the 20th century.
Casa de les Punxes (the Spikes House) is another famous and imaginative building by Puig i Cadafalch. It was finished in 1905 and reminds us of a medieval castle with high towers. The façade is also filled with ornamented panels that can serve as a reference to Saint George. It’s in Avinguda Diagonal 416.
The Tàpies Foundation is now a cultural centre devoted to the Catalan artist. The iron sculpture from the façade representing a cloud and a chair was made by Tàpies himself. However, the original building is a modernist design by Domènech i Muntaner, finished in 1885 and home of a publishing house at the time. It is located near Casa Batlló, in Aragó Street, 255.
Of course there are many more interesting sights and modernist buildings in Barcelona, these are just a few proposals. My piece of advice is, if you really like Modernism, apart from the typical sights, have a look at the Modernist route (http://www.rutadelmodernisme.com/default.aspx?idioma=en&contenido=Obres_115) and pick your favourite!