Architects: Kengo Kuma & Associates
- Area : 260 m²
- Year : 2021
Photographs :Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán + Rocío Romero)
Manufacturers : Kriskadecor, Chesneys Architectural
- Design Team : Javier Villar, Jaime Fernández Calvache, Gorka Beita Zarandona, David Minton Albero, Mila Dimitrovska, Kimio Suzuki (CG)
- Clients : Casa Batlló S.L.U.
- Project Managment : Casa Batlló
- City : Barcelona
- Country : Spain
Text description provided by the architects. Casa Batlló is a homage to the light of the Mediterranean: its light, shadow, and colors of the sky and sea. The central courtyard captures all that Mediterranean light and distributes it vertically to all the corners of the house, no matter how remote they are. The color gradation from darker to lighter blue doses the light in its vertical travel and makes sure it does not lose its pigments.
In our project we wanted to talk about that genius use of light; making sure every single visitor leaves Casa Batlló having appreciated such qualities, independently of the admiration towards its incredible shapes, craftsmanship, and symbolic allusions. And we wanted to do it in an abstract way. Through this abstraction, free of the colors, materials, and historical dimension of the house, we talk without distractions and nostalgia about the concept of light.
Envisioning the interior for an existing emergency stair, that also had to be transited by every single visitor of Casa Batlló, appeared as a very difficult challenge to address. It was by relating the vertical development of this stair with the presence of the central patio, both piercing the house from top to bottom and organizing the main fluxes of the visit, that we saw the possibility to establish a dialog between them. This space we have designed for the stair poses a reflection and a dialog with the patio of Casa Batlló.
How to talk about light in an enclosed box with almost no openings for natural light? We have imagined this space dressed in aluminum chain curtains, that through its meticulous materiality catches the light, like fishing nets, presenting it in all its different shapes: shines, silhouettes, shadows… Thus, avoiding the use of any other material and with these curtains erasing the presence of the box and its stair, we achieve talking about light and only light.
The different shades of the aluminum are organized starting from brighter on the rooftop and slowly darkening until becoming black when reaching the depths of the former coal cellar in the basement. With this light gradation that recalls the use of colour in the patio, a new grammar without words tells a story that unfolds along the whole route. Starting from the roof and finishing in the basement, from the sky to the ground, from light to shadow… and everything explained just with light, like a new grammar inherent to the house.
If the project of Gaudi for Casa Batlló was a homage to Mediterranean light, our project is a homage to his use of light in Casa Batlló.