Barcelona is home to many architectural wonders that are known internationally as symbols of the city, such as the Sagrada Família, Parc Güell, and other works of Modernism. A lesser-known work that you may not have heard about is Casa Planells, located a stone’s throw away from the Sagrada Família on Avinguda Diagonal. Plan a visit to see this Modernist gem and to see first-hand a great example of distinctive Catalan architecture, and take a tour of a building by one of Barcelona’s most important architects.
The creator of this magnificent Modernist piece was Josep Maria Jujol, a Catalan architect and an important leader of the Modernist movement. Jujol grew up and studied architecture in Barcelona, and was inspired by the architecture of the Gothic neighborhood. Through his studies, he was introduced to Antoni Gaudí, among many other Modernist masters, and began a great partnership and friendship. They admired each other’s work and collaborated on many projects, including some of Barcelona’s most famous landmarks. Places like Casa Batlló, Casa Milà, Parc Güell, and Our Lady of Montserrat are all collaborations between Gaudí and Jujol. These places are generally thought of as works of Gaudí, but in reality, they would not have been possible without Josep Maria Jujol.
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The history of Casa Planells
Casa Planells was commissioned by Evelí Planells in 1923 and completed in 1924 through Jujol’s hard work and daring vision. At the time, in the early 20th century, Modernism was everywhere and it was very important in defining Catalan identity and culture. While Jujol had previously collaborated with Gaudí and others to create many iconic projects, Casa Planells was the brainchild of Jujol alone. It was placed on the corner of Avinguda Diagonal and Carrer de Sicília, in a small, triangular plot. The unique placement is part of what makes this house so unique and what has led to the design that we know today.
Address: Avinguda Diagonal, 332
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When we think of Modernism we tend to think of all of the previously-mentioned monuments and their almost ethereal style. Casa Planells is a bit more discreet in its design and different from the others. From the outside, you can see windows with rounded edges and pillars by the door that are reminiscent of other examples of Modernism in Barcelona. The colors are also a bit more subtle, a mix of browns and yellows that remains warm and inviting. On the interior, there is an impressive wrought-iron spiral staircase that runs the length of the building. From inside you can also take in the view of Avinguda Diagonal from large windows overlooking the street. It’s definitely worth it to tour the inside and see one of Barcelona’s Modernist works, while avoiding the large crowds that you might find at Casa Milà or Casa Batlló.
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