Casa Batlló (Barcelona), protected visit with innovative hygiene measures

Casa Batlló is located at number 43 on Paseo de Gracia, a street that, in the past, connected the city to Villa de Gracia, which today is a fully integrated district of the city.

Development of Passeig de Gracia

Since 1860, when an ambitious urban plan was approved in Barcelona (known as the Cerdà Plan), Passeig de Gracia has become the city’s backbone and its most important families started to set up their homes here. In this manner, in the 19th Century, the street became a promenade for pedestrians and horse-drawn carriages, and from the 20th Century a main avenue for cars.

Originally, the building was built in 1877 by Emilio Sala Cortés. In 1903 it was purchased by Mr Josep Batlló y Casanovas, a textile industrialist and prominent businessman, who owned several factories in Barcelona.

Casa Vicens (Gaudí)
Construction of Casa Batlló

Mr Josep Batlló granted full creative freedom to Antoni Gaudí, putting him in charge of a project that initially entailed demolishing the building. The demolition of the house was ruled out, and it was fully reformed between 1904 and 1906. The architect completely changed the façade, redistributing the internal partitioning, expanding the patio of lights and converting the inside into a true work of art. Besides its artistic value, the building is also extremely functional, presenting much more characteristic of modern times than of the past. Some even see elements that herald the architectural trends of the late 20th Century.

In this month (July 2020) the house has been reopened for visitors. To guarantee the everybody’s safety, Casa Batlló has applied the general regulations for all monuments (reduction of capacity, use of masks, etc.). Furthermore, a new visit respecting the safety restrictions has been designed by a large team of experts with use of the latest technology:

  • Maximum air purification,
  • Disinfection of equipment with ultraviolet light,
  • Capacity reduction and new protocols,
  • Real time information for the visitor and
  • Compliance with the regulations of UNESCO and its advisory bodies.

The measures adopted by Casa Batlló are in line with the protocols and recommendations of international bodies such as the UNESCO, who have followed up on the closure and reopening of all World Heritage sites, including this Work by Antoni Gaudí. Furthermore, the museum follows the guidelines set by ICOMOS and ICCROM, advisory bodies to the aforementioned international institution. This joint work allows Casa Batlló to combine the protection and safeguarding of cultural heritage, while at the same time disseminating and bringing the local public closer together through exemplary hygiene measures.

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Author: Mireia Bosch Prat (UPC)