The Palau Güell (Güell Palace) is a mansion designed by the architect Antoni Gaudí for the industrial tycoon Eusebi Güell, and was built between 1886 and 1888. It is situated on the Carrer Nou de la Rambla, in the El Raval neighborhood of Barcelona, Spain. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Works of Antoni Gaudí”.
Palau Güell was a milestone of European architecture and one of the pioneering buildings of the Art Nouveau movement
The Palau Güell was a milestone of European architecture in its time and may be considered one of the pioneering buildings of the Art Nouveau movement, standing out above all for its innovative conception of space and light. In this building, Gaudí applied a set of highly diverse solutions based on very personal approaches. He used his imagination to create some exceptionally expressive forms, working with high-quality traditional materials (stone, wood, wrought iron, ceramics, glass, etc.).
The Palau Güell was to be a multi-purpose building. With apartments, event, and exhibition rooms. There was just 18×22 meters of floor space available to build a palace that was as magnificent as it was functional. The task was brilliantly solved by Gaudí, he created one of the most beautiful buildings of modernism. However, Gaudí not only built houses but was also a designer and decorated the house with impressive ironwork, woodwork, ceramics, stained glass, and stonework.
Despite the simplicity of Gaudí’s façade, the Catalan architect did not overlook the volumetric range of the stone and iron that he combined with the use of ceramics. Its symmetry, volumetry, and padded appearance inevitably resemble the Florentine palaces of the Renaissance.
The building’s symmetry, volumetry, and padded appearance inevitably resemble the Florentine palaces of the Renaissance
The entryway to the building, one of the most original designs by Gaudí, features a wrought iron masterpiece on the gates of the two catenary arches. The two entrance doors are 4.9 meters high and stand out due to the way they are adorned, with vegetable, animal, and symbolic elements that are at their finest on the spandrels, which hold the initials of the developer, Eusebi Güell.
Photography by David Cardelús