Contributions

1985

 © Luis Gueilburt
© Luis Gueilburt

My association with the work of Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926) began in 1978, about the same time as the restoration of democracy in Spain.

I discovered Gaudí when I arrived in Barcelona. Gaudí and Barcelona are indivisible and I began to study the artist and his work from that moment on. I was horrified at that time at how physical  contact with any part of his work left one absolutely filthy, and I wondered why no-one had removed that thick layer of soot and atmospheric contamination from these works of art. At the same time, this dust afforded them a patina that only time can achieve... « Read more »

1980

Outing to Vilafranca de Conflent (1984). The author is the second on the left, wearing the white jersey and grey scarf.
Outing to Vilafranca de Conflent (1984). The author is the second on the left, wearing the white jersey and grey scarf.

I never  lived in La Pedrera, but between 1980 and 1984 I received my upper secondary school education at the ICEJ Academy, which took up the entire ground floor from carrer de Provença to Passeig de Gràcia.

It seems like only yesterday, but many years have passed and everything has changed so much.

The ICEJ was a private academy that taught secondary education and university access courses for students over 25 years of age.  Originally located in another premises in carrer Provença, the ICEJ Academy (whose initials stood for “Instituto de Ciencias Económicas y Jurídicas”)... « Read more »

1970

© Ramon Manent
© Ramon Manent

Photographer Ramon Manent (Mataró, 1948) specialises in art portraiture, Catalan Romanesque and Gothic architecture and, above all, Catalan Modernisme. This last period stands out for the work of Gaudí, in which Manent underscores its shapes, textures and colours. His rendering of the great architect’s oeuvre evinces a remarkable sensitivity for capturing the light and space of his subject.

Manent has also practised anthropological reportage photography in a wide range of settings, from the urban architecture of Manhattan’s skyscrapers, to the landscape of classical Greece... « Read more »

1967

L'Inconnu de Shandigor. Sylvaine and Manuel in the rooftop of La Pedrera.
L'Inconnu de Shandigor. Sylvaine and Manuel in the rooftop of La Pedrera.

 

La Pedrera has been used as a setting in more than fifteen films, including Gaudí (Josep Maria Argemí, 1960), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Woody Allen, 2008), Rastros de sándalo (Maria Ripoll, 2014), The Passenger (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1975), starring Jack Nicholson and Maria Schneider, and Biotaxia (José María Nunes 1968).

A more exhaustive list of films, including credits and clips is available at

http://pedreraeducacio.... « Read more »

1936

Ministerial Gaudí © Rossend Torras
Ministerial Gaudí © Rossend Torras

In 1936, La Pedrera was sequestered by the PSUC (United Socialist Party of Catalonia) and used as the headquarters of the Catalan Ministry of Economy and Agriculture and the private residence of Joan Comorera, the party’s secretary general and minister of economy during much of the civil war.

 « Read more »

1927

© ANC/Fons Joaquim Gomis

The main floor of La Pedrera, which has housed the Foundation’s exhibition hall since 1992, was originally the residence of the Milàs. The floor retains little of Gaudí’s décor because Roser Segimon, Mr Milà’s wife, had most of it changed after the architect’s death in 1926. However, we can still see a few ornamental motifs and inscriptions carved into some of the stone columns, as well as sections of the original plaster ceilings designed by Gaudí to give continuity to the undulating rhythms of the building’s façade.

The photograph shown here comes from the archive of photographer... « Read more »

1926

My grandparents and me. His name was Eduard Fàbregas, the coachman of the Milà family, and my grandmother, Miguelina Daniel.
My grandparents and me. His name was Eduard Fàbregas, the coachman of the Milà family, and my grandmother, Miguelina Daniel.

My maternal grandfather was the coachman of the Milà family, the owners of La Pedrera. Years later, after horse-drawn carriages became obsolete, he learnt to drive and became a chauffeur.

My grandparents lived in La Pedrera, on the ground floor next to the concierge's office. To my knowledge, my grandparents were the first people to live there, because the service staff moved in before any of the tenants arrived. There was my grandfather and the mechanic, who maintained the boilers, and their respective families. My maternal grandmother also lived there, but she later died in an... « Read more »

1920

Grandfather Ninus Baladia on the balcony of La Pedrera apartment in 1920. The photo was taken by my grandmother when they were courting. Although my grandfather is wearing a dressing gown, he did not live there. They were a modern couple, and he lived with her family at the Llorach property, in Sant Gervasi. © Archivo Baladia
Grandfather Ninus Baladia on the balcony of La Pedrera apartment in 1920. The photo was taken by my grandmother when they were courting. Although my grandfather is wearing a dressing gown, he did not live there. They were a modern couple, and he lived with her family at the Llorach property, in Sant Gervasi. © Archivo Baladia

In 1906 the architect Antoni Gaudí watched as the foundations were laid on the site that would eventually become home to the icon of Modernisme, the Casa Milà, (La Pedrera), in Barcelona’s Passeig de Gràcia. That same year, the celebrated Catalan writer Eugeni d'Ors’ published his first glosses in La Veu de Catalunya newspaper that he would include in his novel Teresa, La Ben Plantada,[1] the stunningly beautiful and extremely admired enigmatic muse, who came to symbolise the Noucentisme and the... « Read more »

1918

La Vanguardia, 28 October 1918, reports of the Prince Ibrahim Hassan.
La Vanguardia, 28 October 1918, reports of the Prince Ibrahim Hassan.

On Monday 28 October 1918, Egyptian Prince Ibrahim Hassan (Cairo, 1879 – Barcelona, 1918) died at his home in La Pedrera, No. 92 Paseo de Gracia. The prince, nephew of the Sultan of Egypt and grandson of Khedive[1] Ismail Pasha, had long resided in Barcelona as the report in La Vanguardia the 28 October 1918.

Educated at Europe’ best schools, he had resided in Vienna, Paris and London. Before his stay in Barcelona, the prince was president of the Cairo Electric Railways & Heliopolis Oases Company. A man of culture

... « Read more »

1915

Casa Milà, 1915. Josep Maria Madurell i Marimón, Col·lecció Club Excursionista de Gràcia © Ajuntament de Barcelona, Arxiu Municipal Districte de Gràcia
Casa Milà, 1915. Josep Maria Madurell i Marimón, Col·lecció Club Excursionista de Gràcia © Ajuntament de Barcelona, Arxiu Municipal Districte de Gràcia

These hitherto unpublished photographs of La Pedrera have been brought to our notice by the Municipal Archive of the District of Gràcia, which has holdings and collections from institutions, associations and private collections relating to the district’s documentary heritage.

The two pictures by amateur photographers are largely documentary in nature.

One of them was taken by the historian and archivist Josep Maria Madurell i Marimon (Barcelona, 1893-1983), who published a large body of research, much of it on the history of culture, publishing and books.... « Read more »

1912

La Vanguardia. 19 April 1916
La Vanguardia. 19 April 1916

The following story is a good example of Gaudí’s famous saying, that that originality consists of returning to the origin.

We have long wondered to what purpose the mezzanine floor was put before the Mosella tailors set up shop there. We have now found a document confirming that this space on the Passeig de Gràcia side of La Pedrera was used as the restaurant of a boarding house, the ‘Pensión Hispano-Americana.

We know that prior to the signing of the certificate of completion of the building work, the first ads had already appeared in the press offering rooms to rent in Casa... « Read more »

Familia Abadal Duran
The wedding of Paco Abadal and Mercè Durán (Magazine Stadium. No. 034 .15 Oct.1912)

The Paco Abadal Cultural Association sent us the story of the Abadal family and their connection with the Casa Milà as the first tenants.

Francisco Serramalera Abadal (later Abadal Serramalera), known as Paco Abadal, was born in Manresa on 28 July 1875. Shortly thereafter his family moved to Barcelona, where they resided in various abodes in the new district of Barcelona, the Eixample.

While at university Paco took up cycling, which was to become a prestigious professional sport at the turn of the century.

Thanks to his success in the sport he amassed a small fortune... « Read more »

1911

Aleix Clapés and the artwork of the “Gache Apartment” in the Casa Milà.
Aleix Clapés and the artwork of the “Gache Apartment” in the Casa Milà.

Alberto I. Gache (Mercedes, Buenos Aires, 1854 – Montevideo, 1933), Consul of the Republic of Argentina in Barcelona, resided on the first floor, second door, of the Casa Milà from 5 August 1911 to late 1919.

On 26 September 2014, a visit and a talk were organised at La Pedrera to acquaint the public with the décor of the “Gache Apartment” and the diplomat’s art collections, in particular the now-lost wall-hangings painted by Aleix Clapés (1846-1920) for the Gaudí apartment’s sumptuous lounge. The attached document gives a detailed description of the research. 

Carlos... « Read more »

In 1911, La Vanguardia ran some classified advertisements offering rooms, digestion remedies, and even private English lessons in La Pedrera – Casa Milà. These ads verify that the Milà family and others already lived in the building before Antoni Gaudí certified the completion of the work.  This is a selection of ads published in La Vanguardia between 1911 and 1915.« Read more »

1910

El Diluvio. Suplemento Ilustrado . 5 March 1910
El Diluvio. Suplemento Ilustrado . 5 March 1910

The unique structure that is the Casa Milà (La Pedrera) and the relationship between the building’s architect (Antoni Gaudí) and its owner (Pere Milà) became the object of ridicule for the people of Barcelona and many humorous publications of the time.

These three illustrations of the Casa Milà, by Llorenç Brunet i Torroll (Bru-Net), were published in the weekly El Diluvio. Suplemento Ilustrado in 1910 and 1911.

The first drawing was featured on the supplement’s cover on Saturday 5 March 1910, when construction work on the façade of the Casa Milà was nearing... « Read more »

The unknown shutter
Album d’architecture moderne à Barcelone: Collection de 70 planches. Barcelona, 1911

La Pedrera conceals secrets for almost 100 years: the undiscovered shutter

Above each entrance to the building there is a shutter housing and a piece of metal projecting outwards. These are the guides and mechanisms to operate what were one corrugated rolling shutters. Given their lack of artistic finish, they were believed to have been installed after Gaudí.  Today, thanks to this photograph published in 1911, we can date these shutters, which were more common in industrial and commercial premises than in dwellings, to around 1910.

The first documented image we have of the... « Read more »

1909

 Vestibule of passeig de Gràcia. La Pedrera  © Triangle Postals. Pere Vivas
Vestibule of Passeig de Gràcia. La Pedrera © Triangle Postals. Pere Vivas

The god Pan playing the panpipe, a garden, the Deadly Sins, bouquets of flowers, the god Vertumnus disguised in an attempt to seduce the goddess Pomona, a feast, a sun, an eagle, and even a shipwreck – these are just some of the scenes featured in the mural paintings in the vestibules of La Pedrera.

... « Read more »

1907

Journal Ilustració Catalana, 8 December 1907
Journal Ilustració Catalana, 8 December 1907

Having submitted his building plans in order to obtain planning permission from Barcelona City hall, Antoni Gaudí began work on the Casa Milà on 2 February 1906.

Shown below are two illustrative examples of the immense interest sparked by the construction of the edifice.

The first one comes from issue No. 236 of the journal Ilustració Catalana, from 8 December 1907, which ran a story on the building work, under the heading ‘Modern Architecture’, with three accompanying photographs showing the construction system of the columns and pillars, together with the caption... « Read more »