Facade of Calvet House in Barcelona by Antonio Gaudi

The Calvet house (or Casa Calvet) is a modernist-style building designed by Antonio Gaudi in 1900 for a family of industrial textile manufacturers in Barcelona (Ensanche district). Gaudí worked in collaboration with his assistants Francisco Berenguer, Juan Rubió and Juli Batllevell to complete his first built project in the Ensanche of Barcelona.

Calvet House Technical Information

There are no straight lines or sharp corners in nature. Therefore, buildings must have no straight lines or sharp corners.

– Antonio Gaudi

Calvet House Photographs

Facade detail of Calvet House in Barcelona by Antonio Gaudi Balconies of the house by Antonio Gaudi Facade detail by Antonio Gaudi

The Casa Calvet is one of the earliest works of Antoni Gaudí. People consider it as the genius architect’s most conservative construction.  Its symmetry, balance, and orderly rhythm are unusual for Gaudí’s works. However, it contains some elements of marked modernism like the attic balconies which look like they came out straight from a fairy tale. The curves and double gable at the top, the projecting oriel at the entrance and isolated witty details are modernist elements.

The building served both as a commercial property and as a residence. The textile manufacturer Pere Màrtir Calvet had commissioned the house. He used the upper floors as his private residence and set up his business premises in the basement and on the ground floor.

The house was built in baroque Catalan style, using only stone quarry. It showcases incredible wrought ironwork on the balconies. Both the ground floor and hall are particularly interesting. In the facade bulging balconies alternate with smaller, shallower balconies. Mushrooms above the oriel at the center allude to the owner’s favorite hobby.

Columns flanking the entrance are in the form of stacked bobbins— an allusion to the family business of textile manufacture.

The gallery at ground level is the façade’s most outstanding feature, a daring combination of wrought iron and stone in which decorative historical elements such as a cypress, an olive tree, horns of plenty, and the Catalan coat of arms can be discerned.

– Lluís Permanyer

Three sculpted heads at the top also allude to the owner: One is Sant Pere Màrtir Calvet i Carbonell (the owner’s father) and two are patron saints of Vilassar, Andreu Calvet’s home town.

Casa Calvet was awarded the prize for the best building by the Barcelona City Council in the year 1900.

Calvet House Floor Plan
Floor Plan of Calvet House in Barcelona by Antonio Gaudi

© Antonio Gaudi

Axonometric drawing of Calvet House by Antonio Gaudi

© Hiroya Tanaka

About Antonio Gaudi

Antoni Gaudí i Cornet was a Catalan architect known as the greatest exponent of Catalan Modernism. Gaudí’s works have a highly individualized, one-of-a-kind style. Most are located in Barcelona, including his main work, the church of the Sagrada Família.

Gaudí’s work was influenced by his passions in life: architecture, nature, and religion. He considered every detail of his creations and integrated into his architecture such crafts as ceramics, stained glass, wrought ironwork forging, and carpentry. He also introduced new techniques in the treatment of materials, such as trencadís which used waste ceramic pieces.

Casa Calvet Image Gallery

Other works from Antonio Gaudi  

Cite this article: "Calvet House in Barcelona / Antonio Gaudi" in ArchEyes, February 3, 2020, https://archeyes.com/calvet-house-antonio-gaudi/.