With its undulating façade and militant stormtrooper figures standing guard on the rooftop, Casa Milà (more commonly known as La Pedrera for its resemblance to a stone quarry) is one of Barcelona’s unique architectural wonders. Commissioned in 1906 by industrialist Pere Milà i Camps, the building – which served as the Milà family’s residence – is one of seven ‘Works of Antoni Gaudí’ listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is yet another great example of the architect’s unique take on Catalonian Modernisme.
Today, though a portion of the building remains private, there are areas open to the public.
The standard tour of La Pedrera begins in the Courtyards where you get a feel for the importance of light, color, and nature.
Notice the carved columns, plant and ribbon-like iron railings along the stairways and balconies, and the colorful floral motif designs of the murals on the walls.
From the Courtyards, you’ll go straight up
to the wavy surface of the Rooftop
with it’s statuesque figures
and mosaic crosses that conceal the chimneys and ventilation shafts.
Here’s where you’ll see where Gaudí incorporated fragments of glass bottles, marble, and stone into his work.
From the rooftop, make your way down to the Espai Gaudí, a museum housed in the building’s attic and former laundry room.
Notice the impressive rib-like catenary arches (270 in all) – a Gaudí trademark, these are made of red brick.
Among the items on display in the ‘Gaudí Space’ are architectural plans, photos, videos, and scale models, including the hanging chain models used to create the building arches.
The tour continues with a visit to the La Pedrera Apartment on the 4th level where you’ll see the Gaudí-designed elements such as:
the moldings, decorative ceilings, doors, handles, and flooring. And, what makes a visit to La Pedrera unique, compared to say a visit to Casa Battló, is that you can actually see the residence, complete with everyday household items and period furnishings, to give you a feel for what it would have been like to live here in the early 20th century.
From the serpentine space of the hallway, you’ll wander through the various rooms, which include:
The Living Room, decorated with fine furnishings, a sparkling chandelier suspended from the ceiling, and a collection of portraits on the walls;
The Dining Room, which features Moderniste furniture like the contoured sideboards;
The Kitchen, simply decorated in white;
The Office, with an attractive wooden desk, and a large portrait and framed documents on the walls;
The Bedroom, which features an interesting floral bed frame with winged headboard, and a baby’s bassinet nearby;
The elegant Bathroom decorated with tub and shower, a marble vanity, tiled floors, ceramic commode and bidet;