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THE CULTURAL PROJECT OF THE RESTAURATION OF CASA AMATLLER

On the 30th of June 2009 an agreement was signed between the Barcelona City Council, the Department of Culture of the Government of Catalonia,the Fundación Montemadrid and the Fundació Privada Institut Amatller d’Art Hispànic, in order to proceed with the Cultural Project of the restauration of Casa Amatller, with a total budget of €4,998,550. The actions carried out in the framework of this agreement were:

Restauration of the façade (2007-2008)
Project and Management - Salvador Tarragó
Execution- Construccions Riera

Rehabilitation of the second floor (2-2) to house the new headquarters for the library and photographic library of the Amatller Institute of Hispanic Art (2010)
Project and Management - José Ignacio Casar & José Manuel Montesinos
Execution - Urcotex

  • reinforcement of the floor (by attaching a grid of iron beams to the master walls)
  • general rehabilitation
  • installation of fire detectors and fire extinguishers (via gas)
  • electrical installations
  • installation of air-conditioning
  • security installations (intrusion detection and security cameras)

Rehabilitation of the building’s general installations (2011-2013)
Project and Management - José Ignacio Casar & José Manuel Montesinos
Execution - Urcotex

  • replacement of original sewage passages with PVC pipes
  • general electrical connections of the property and each of the shops / dwellings
  • rehabilitation of the interior patios

Restauration of the main floor, including the lobby, the grand staircase and its skylight (2011-2014)
Project and Management - José Ignacio Casar & José Manuel Montesinos
Execution - Urcotex

  • restauration and restitution of pavements (Roman mosaic / marble / parquet / hydraulic mosaic)
  • restauration and restitution of wainscots (“aresta” ceramic / marble / wood / fabric)
  • restauration and restitution of furnishings (sgraffities / stucco / fabric / paper / paint)
  • restauration and restitution of ceilings (wood / polychrome / sgraffities)
  • restauration of sculptural pieces (marble / Montjuic stone)
  • restauration and restitution of woodwork
  • restauration and restitution of stained glass windows
  • restauration and restitution of ceiling lights (including the restauration and restitution of metallic pieces)
  • installation of a cabin-less hydraulic lift (from the ground floor to the main floor)
  • installation of fire detectors (via aspiration) and fire extinguishers (via water mist))
  • electrical installations
  • installation of air-conditioning
  • security installations (intrusion detection and security cameras)
  • installation of automated control (lighting and air-conditioning)

Restauration and restitution of personal property (2013-2015)
InSitu / Centre de Restauració de Béns Mobles de Catalunya / Mercedes Quintero / David Mañas / Natalia Maragall


Turning the main floor into a museum (2015)
STOA

Rehabilitation of rooves and neighbour’s staircase (2015)
Project and Management - Pau Carbó Berthold & Joan Antoni Farrerons Bergé
Execution- Urcotex

  • substitution of polyester coverings for those made of wired glass
  • rehabilitation of walls, banisters and the roof pavements
  • changing of the machinery of the neighbouring lift
  • restauration of the skylight in the neighbour’s staircase and the sgraffities on the fourth floor landing
  • elimination of obsolete installations
  • installation of an elevation system for moving house

As well as the rehabilitation of the building, the man objective of the interventions has been to recuperate the atmosphere of the dwelling of Antoni and Teresa Amatller at the beginning of the 20th century. To this end, special care has been taken when restoring ceiling and wall lights in the house trying to adjust the intensity and quality of its lighting to values similar to those provided by the original gas and electricity installations.


One thing that has been fundamental to the success of the restoration has been the availability of a significant amount of historical information that has guaranteed the exactitude of the operation. Amongst the material used:
  • old photographic documentation (Amatller Foundation - The Mas Archive & Antoni Amatller funds)
  • documentation detailing Puig i Cadafalch’s remodelling, including contracts, invoices, dispatch notes, receipts and other notes exchanged between the fifty-strong group of industrialists, artists and craftsmen (Amatller Foundation))
  • documentation relating to Casa Amatller from the Puig i Cadafalch Archive, including sketches, drawings, plans and various notes (National Archive of Catalonia)
  • the file and the plans for Casa Amatller from Municipal Administration Archive

The preservation of a high percentage of the original architectural decorations (largely thanks to the care and respect of the adjustments made to the Amatller’s home by Josep Ricart Gudiol in 1960, when it was converted into the headquarters of the Amatller Foundation and the library of the Amatller Institute of Hispanic Art) has also been incredibly important. The recovery of several pieces of original furniture that had left the house, thanks to the generous donation of the people who were guarding them, has also been crucial.


It should be noted, however, that one of the main challenges of the whole intervention has been to integrate, without damaging the original decor, new installations in compliance with current regulations, such as:
  • fire detection and extinction
  • intrusion detection
  • security cameras
  • air-conditioning
  • electrical installations on different circuits to simulate the original lighting and to add additional lighting to allow proper display of artistic objects in the collection

The purpose of this cultural project is to open the main floor of Casa Amatller for public viewing in order to inform about the circumstances of Modernism and to introduce the people who made it possible, in other words, to tell the story of both the country and the city, by giving the keys to Modernism:

  • Industrialisation gave way to the economic recuperation which allowed the necessary funding in order for Modernism to be carried out
  • Modernism was possible thanks to the patronage of learned bourgeoisie businessmen who, like Antoni Amatller, had other worries beyond business itself.
  • Modernism transformed Ildefons Cerdà’s Eixample and the appearance of the city, adding uniqueness to a plan which was generally rooted in homogenisation
  • Modernism became the artistic expression of the spirit of the Renaissance, in its desire to recover Catalan national identity and project a new image that fitted with the country's economic recovery
  • Modernism was conceived by architects who, at any time, could be both designers and interior designers
  • Modernism is the work of a group of highly qualified industrialists, artists and craftsmen, work which they did with their own hands

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