The Palau Baró de Quadras is a Modernista mansion built between 1904 and 1906 by the architect Puig i Cadafalch. Located halfway between La Pedrera and the Casa de les Punxes, it has been listed as a Historical and Artistic Monument of National Interest since 1976. It has been the home of the Institut Ramon Llull since 2013.
During the second half of 2015, the first stage of the restoration and preventive conservation work was carried out on the architectural and ornamental features in the mansion’s vestibule. This restoration work has made it possible to enhance the great patrimonial importance of this part of the building, a point of reference for Modernisme in Barcelona.
The Palau Baró de Quadras
In 1904 Baron Manuel de Quadras i Feliu commissioned Josep Puig i Cadafalch to remodel a formerly rented building. Cadafalch’s renovation was based on the contrast between the building’s two façades. The front on Carrer de Rosselló would keep the appearance of a typical house between party walls of L’Eixample. On the other hand, the front on the Diagonal would be covered in sculptural work, in which different materials such as wood, glass and ceramics would merge in a neo-Gothic composition, giving a magnificent, seigniorial impression.
In the building’s Modernista period, the ground floor was used as the entrance to the apartments on the upper floors and to the servants’ quarters, and for the formal entrance to the baron and baroness’s residence. The patrimonial importance of the vestibule can clearly be seen in the rich decoration of the staircase, in the stained glass of the skylight and in the Roman mosaic floor. The entrance for carriages, which leads to the monumental staircase going up to the main floor, was the central feature of the baron and baroness’s residence and a legacy from the Gothic palaces of Barcelona.
Puig i Cadafalch’s renovation turned the Palau Baró de Quadras into one of the jewels of Modernisme in the city of Barcelona.
The restoration of the vestibule
Architect Àngel Gil and restorers of cultural assets Anna González and Josep Pasqual were given the job of carrying out the study for the renovation of the vestibule of the Palau Baró de Quadras and the first stage of the work.
The restorers made a visual study with the aim of getting to know the constructive definition and the state of preservation of the different materials and decorative features. In this way, they were able to diagnose the problems in the building’s vestibule and establish priorities for action.
The study concluded that the vestibule of the Palau was showing signs of varying degrees of degradation that distorted the viewer’s perception, whether due to changes in the colours or the volumes. The restorers planned a series of conservation actions based on intervention on elements of stone, mosaics, tiles, sgraffiti and ceiling coffering, and another series of actions on the wrought iron railings, the wooden door in Carrer de Rosselló and the bronze lamps.
The project carried out has been subjected to professional criteria of maximum conservation of the original work, reversibility, the use of traditional techniques and maximum research.
The restoration work has made it possible to halt the damage and the causes of deterioration, while at the same time recovering the material physical integrity and the aesthetic beauty of this vestibule, designed and built by Puig i Cadafalch.
You can see images of the restoration process through this link.
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