Casa Batlló, a modernist style building in Barcelona, is the result of the renovation of an austere building designed in 1877 by Emilio Sala Cortés who was Antoni Gaudí’s teacher during his architecture studies. Although the initial idea was to knock down the house, thanks to the courage shown by Gaudí, it was ultimately decided to carry out a full renovation, transforming a classic style building into a masterpiece of modernism, full of imagination and creativity from 1904 and 1906.
Natural light illuminates every corner of Casa Batlló thanks, to a large extent, to the main skylight and two central patios decorated in blue tones, where the light is distributed. The upper tiles on the patios are darker than the lower ones and the windows increase in size the lower we descend. Thanks to these two innovative ideas – the colour graduations and the size of the windows – Gaudí was successful in equally distributing light through the different floors.
Gaudí designed an original ventilation system, including different openings on the house’s windows. These openings are manual and make it possible to regulate the air with precision, without having to open the windows fully. In turn, the design of the central patios, where the majority of air enters, helps to maintain the heat in winter and ventilate in summer. Gaudí, the engineer, achieved maximum comfort following energy efficiency criteria.
Due to its Outstanding Universal Value, Casa Batlló was inscribed in the World Heritage List in 2005.
The project is a continuation of a collaboration initiated in 2019, which has been successful in integrating educational activities in the framework of the European Heritage Volunteers Programme with the conservation work done by the hosting institution. The activities in the program, the work and the setting will provide an extraordinary opportunity for the participants to immerse themselves in the world and genius of Gaudi, one of the most remarkable and unique modernist architects in the world.
In order to support the documentation and research of Casa Batlló the participants will archive and organise historical documents incorporating them in a digital database. Despite their good state of conservation, the documents are not yet incorporated into an electronic database. This task is a big priority due to the risk of loss in case of potential influences of fires, moisture and other natural phenomena. In addition, the electronic way of saving the documents enables easier to support current and future research about Antoni Gaudí as well as future conservation and restoration projects at Casa Batlló.
The educational part will provide through guided visits and discussions, the necessary background knowledge as well as inside views about the challenges and potentials of Modern Heritage and the management of World Heritage sites which are facing complex times after the emerge of COVID-19 pandemic.
The project will take place from November 2nd, till November, 13th, 2021 and is organised by Casa Batlló, in collaboration with European Heritage Volunteers.