First House Designed by Gaudì To Be Turned Into a Museum
The first house ever designed by Antoni Gaudì, Casa Vicens, is being renovated and turned into a museum. The family home in Barcelona—built in 1888 and named a UNESCO World Heritage building in 1984—is due to open to the public in 2016.
The house was commissioned, in 1887, by Manuel Vicens I Montaner, who owned a ceramics factory. The villa served as a family home for the Herrero-Jover family after they purchased it from Vicens’s widow in 1899 and, after three generations, was put on the market in 2007.
The asking price of €35 million ($39,242,000) was dropped after months had passed and no buyer was found, until the Andorran bank MoraBanc bought the property in 2014 for an undisclosed sum, the Art Newspaper reports.
“[This is]…an essential work for understanding his unique architectural language and the development of Modernism in Barcelona,” Mercedes Mora, the executive director of the museum told Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia.
Mora’s family owns MoraBanc, who purchased the building. On hearing about the sale, she immediately applied for the job of running the museum, and was appointed by the banks’ twin governing boards.
Unfortunately, Gaudì’s masterpiece will be impossible to restore to its original state as some of the gardens have been sold off, and modifications have been made to the building.
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