A rare collection. The Domènech i Montaner house-museum

In the town of Canet de Mar, Modernist architect Domènech i Montaner decorated his summer residence with various design pieces from his projects. The architect used to ask his collaborators for all kinds of proofs: plaster models of sculptures, ceramic tiles, or metal try-outs. Which he kept, thus his summer house soon became a veritable puzzle of such pieces: an outstanding collection of Modernist designs of all kinds.

On the first floor of his studio, for instance, he arranged the blue and white ceramic pieces he designed for the Fonda Espanya de Barcelona restaurant (1902 – 1903).

On the façade of the studio, he added a three-meter high ceramic panel – work of Lluís Bru, representing an angel – a proof piece, similar to one now decorating a pavilion of the Pere Mata Institute in Reus (1897 – 1912).

The dining room fireplace is decorated with the plaster proof that sculptor Eusebi Arnau made while working together with Domènech i Montaner on the Comillas university project.

Today the museum house also features ceramic tiles of all kinds (like the triangular ones, also for the Pere Mata institute), but also sculptures, like the reproductions of metal roosters or dragons of the Three dragons house the architect designed in 1887 – 1888.

The summer house, and later the residence of Domènech, is a museum since 1998. It comprises two different buildings, one from the 16th century, named Masia Rocosa, and one built by Domènech i Montaner, together with his son Pere Domènech and his son in law, Francesc Guàrdia, between 1908 and 1910.

Lluís Domènech i Montaner was born in Barcelona in 1849. Here is where he developed most of his architectural, intelectual and political career. His connection with Canet de Mar comes from his mother, Maria Montaner, and also from his wife, Maria Roura, both born in this town.

In his studio in Canet de Mar the architect designed projects such as the Cafè Restaurant, also known as The three dragons house, and the International Hotel, both for the Universal exhibition of 1888. It is also here where he designed el Palau de la música, Barcelona’s concert hall; the Sant Paun Hospital; or the Comillas university. He also designed two building in Canet de Mar, the Athenaeum and the Roura house, and reformed the nearby Santa Florentina castle.

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