I am fortunate to live close enough to some of the architectural wonders of the city. These ones are actually on my street, just a few blocks away, so here is a glimpse into my post-confinement daily walks.
Today we’re taking a stroll down Carrer de València, stopping at some of the chamfers that all the streets of central Barcelona have at the intersection. These bevel edges (xamfrà, in Catalan) made room for many Modernist architects to play with accents, to introduce towers and galleries at the corners, and to play with stone and stucco details on the facades.
Casa Llopis Bofill
Built for lawyer and landowner Manuel Llopis Bofill, it was constructed between 1902 and 1903. Architect Antoni M. Gallisa opted here for some Neo-Arab-style features including the quadrilobe shape of the balconies and the metal rails details. The location on the bevel corner made the architect distribute the elements of the facade in an original manner. In the middle, a vertical band with bay windows splits the facade into two symmetrical parts while on the sides a column of bay windows adds the finishing touch to the two vertexes.
As for materials, Gallissà preferred brick and stucco to the traditional stone, and he combined those with iron, ceramic tiles and glass. The current appearance of the house is very like the original, despite the work carried out to repair the damage caused during the Civil War.
The sgraffito designs, created together with architect Josep Maria Jujol, collaborator of Antoni Gaudi and author, among many others, of the trencadis in Palau Guell, is one of the most original I’ve seen in the entire Eixample.
Casa Jaume Forn
Designed in 1904 by Modernist architect Jeroni Granell, the house was built by Domenec Boada. Although modified later, the building retains the original bay windows on the corners, with their refined iron works and leaded stained glass.
The stained glass is often attributed to the Rigalt i Granell workshop – Modernist craftsmen known for works such as the stained glass ceiling in the concert hall of Palau de la musica catalana. This house is an example of a way of working with materials that is difficult to find in our times.
Jeroni Granell also designed the beautiful Casa Pàdua (read about it here on the Rutes of Barcelona website).
Casa Josefa Villanueva
The building was conceived by architect Julio María Fossas Martinez as a symmetrical whole, with two vertical lines of stone galleries at each end. Built between 1904 and 1909, the construction was later refurbished so only one gallery remains. Nevertheless, the house still is one of the most important Modernist legacies.