Treasures of Barcelona

Today I´ve my favourite building in Barcelona for you, ladies and gentlemen meet her majesty La Casa Amatller!

Catalan chocolatier Antoni Amatller Costa came in to the family business from his father.  The young entrepreneur modernised and improved production chain, introduced new products  and ended  as one of the most  successful  businessman of that times, now days we still enjoy his chocolate,  but his baby isn´t Amatller Chocolate but the Amatller House.

On March 1898 Antoni  Amatller bought a property, built in 1875, at Paseig de Gràcia in Barcelona, in order to turn it into his place of residence. He put Josep Puig i Cadafalch in charge to remodel the building. Josep Puig i Cadafalch was a Catalan modernist architect, who designed many significant buildings in Barcelona, as la Casa Martí (known as “Els Quatre Gats”) among them, a place of ideas and social gatherings frequented by Santiago Rusiñol and Ramon Casas. Puig’s style separated him significantly from his contemporary Antoni Gaudí, they were not best friends but they collaborated in construction of Café Torino.  Puig created more modern style architecture, using traditional arts as a base adapting them to new materials. An essential factor was the collaboration of craftsmen who, revived and fortified by the historical and literary renaissance.

The project ended in a radical transformation of the building, including the demolition and subsequent rebuilding of the façade, for me the most impressive part of the building. For the new façade, with connotations from the Romanesque to the Baroque, the architect shied away from the vertical alignment of the components, distributing an uneven number of openings on each floor, and even looking to create an effect of balanced asymmetry and a fictitious irregularity, seeing as all horizontal. The singular stair-like top that crowns the building serves to integrate the new photographic studio built on the roof (by law it had to be separated by some metres from the neighbouring buildings) with the rest of the building. It was a solution that the architect adopted, in order to resolve the apparent problem of terraced houses with gabled roofs.

La Casa Amatller shares a wall with Gaudi´s so famous Casa Batllo, the most beautiful fairy tale house I´ve ever seen. The fact that Gaudi is far more famous and the two buildings are together makes that La Casa Amatller isn´t appreciated properly, which is a pity, as for me it´s a real treasure of architecture, maybe far more interesting then Gaudi´s Casa Batllo o La Pedrera.

 


Gourmet Barça!

Hoy voy a recomendar algunos restaurantes para culés, para después del partido si os apetece. Bueno, si sois merengues y de buen comer también os dejarán entrar.
9 Reinas – uno de los dueños es Javier Mascherano y como no podía ser de otra manera sirven carnes deliciosas de todo el mundo. Si tenéis suerte os vais a encontrar con algún que otro jugador disfrutando su matambre.
Bellavista Jardín del Norte – propiedad del mismísimo L10, dentro encontrareis varias ofertas gastronómicas como pescadería, pizzeria, parrilla argentina, además se puede ver fútbol comiendo, como no.
Yours! – uno de los socios es Gerard Piquè y la cocina está a cargo del chef Juanjo Mestres. Sirven carne, carne y carne… hamburguesa, tartar con bovino, costillas…Y algo que se me olvidaba… entre los socios están ´´Els Amics de les Arts´´, grupo pop catalán, tienen su piano en el local y de vez en cuando tocan para el público.
Botego FOgO/Alquimia FOgO – del lateral derecho de FCB Dani Álves y regentado por su ex chef personal João Alcantara. Son dos espacios en uno, Botego FOgo de día, es un espacio popular con comida tradicional de Brasil, aquí podéis disfrutar de una autentica feijoada brasileña. De noche el local se convierte en Alquimia FOgO (ya os dije que es de Dani Álves, alguna sorpresa tenía que tener 💗) con platos más sofisticados, la única opción es menú de degustación compuesto de platos típicos de las regiones de Brasil como churrasqinho o mandioca con enfoque moderno pero sin perder la esencia.
Bon Appetit !!

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