Casa Vicens is one of the early works of the famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, which was built between 1883-1888. The construction works were commissioned by Manuel Vicens Montaner, who was a prominent brick and tile manufacturer in Barcelona. Therefore, it is not surprising that the house is decorated all over with colourful tiles and bricks.
The plans for Casa Vicens date back to January 1883. A construction permission was needed to start building, which was granted in March in the same year. The project first provided only the construction of a house and a garden. Later on, it was extended with ground floor buildings, a waterfall gallery and a wall on a piece of land situated on Calle Rincon de San Gervasio in Gracia.
Manuel Vicens y Montaner, who inherited the land from his mother in 1877, asked architect Antonio Gaudí for the project of the Casa Vicens. Manuel Vicens y Montaner died in April 1895. In 1927, Casa Vicens received a praise for the best and most emblematic building of the city of Barcelona.
The facades contains notable Spanish and Arabic elements, especially on the small tower and the facades of the upper floors. Gaudí took ordinary ochre masonry as base combined with brick in a reddish tone, sometimes using green and white glazed tiles. He combined these materials according to the construction and practical needs for the building.
The wrought-iron gate reminds of Gaudí's origin as the son of a blacksmith. This gate contains many palm leave motifs in order to remind of all the palm trees which had been felled for the construction of Casa Vinces. In addition, most of the garden with fountains and pavilions were destroyed due to road widening and extension work during 1925 and 1926.
As the house is a private property, a visit of the interior is not possible. Since 2005, Casa Vicens is part of the list of UNESCO's world heritage site.