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Gaudí's Furniture

Contemporaneous but not Modernist, Antoni Gaudí was a total artist: he was an innovating architect, an excellent sculptor, a great interior designer, an expert in ceramics and an original smith. He used and combined all kind of construction and decoration materials such as stone, ceramics, iron, wood, crystal, plaster and paint. Influenced by the Muslim art and the Gothic and Baroque style, his works developed a personalised combination of styles. Convinced that the key of perfection is hidden in Nature, Gaudí always finds the most simple and comfortable designs solutions.

Gaudí designed his own architecture desk in 1878, just after he finished his career. The piece was realised in the carpentry workshop of de Eudald Puntí, where Gaudí had worked in order to afford his studies.

We can distinguish an evolution in the furniture designed by Gaudí. The pieces projected in the first years of his career were dominated by an eclectic and neo-gothic style as a structural and formal reference. The furniture of the Chapel-Pantheon of Sobrellano, Comillas (1878-1881) is an example of this influence. This chair combines three materials: the read velvet, symbol of power and comfort; the metal support of the four legs; and the walnut wood, carved with a rich decoration.

The following pieces of furniture, such as the seats of Palacio Güell or the upholstered armchairs of the principal apartment of Casa Calvet represent la splendour of their owners. The chaise-long (1889) of Palacio Güell made of wood, iron and gilt velvet, also reveals a great richness of details. It is inspired by the models of the Second French Empire. The curved line of the piece obliges you to relax and rest on the arm and comfortable back.

The position adapted by the body shows the intimacy of this piece of furniture. The two legs of the back are inclined, favouring the stability, while those of the feet are standing in vertical position. Gaudí incorporates the iron as a decorative and also structural element without using the wood traditionally used in quilted furniture.

The evolution of the Gaudinian furniture reaches its zenith with the furniture of the office and warehouse of Casa Calvet and the armchairs and seats of Casa Batlló. Little by little, Gaudí will leave the superfluous ornaments behind so as to emphasize the shapes and nudity of the materials. His unceasing search of comfort and utility makes him study the human body in order to achieve his purpose to adapt the furniture to the human organism.

Each one of the pieces is an authentic piece of art and has its own personality. However, their characteristics are perfectly combined and integrated in the entire furniture equipment as well as in the interior where they will be used.

In the Gaudí House-Museum of Park Güell in Barcelona one can see a collection of original furniture of an uncountable value. Nevertheless, the passion for the gracefulness of their unmistakable lines and shapes has leaded to the realization of identical replicas of the pieces conserved in the Museum. These reproductions respect thoroughly the used materials as well as the original elaboration method. The wood used in the fabrication of the furniture is carved by hand oak; the different pieces of the object are assembled into its final form without any use of nails. The peculiar mounting technique requires a careful selection of the wood, which has to be completely dry to guarantee the success of the process.

 

CALVET FLOWER BENCH

1900-1901 Material: oak wood with carving
Author: Taller Casas i Bardés; design by Gaudí
Original location: Meeting Room of Casa Calvet
Dimensions: 120 x 64 x 97 cm
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2-3 seat canapé made of two basic pieces: the seat and the back.

This piece of furniture dominated the meeting room of Casa Calvet, situated on the commercial first floor of the building. All the furniture originated in this place is made of massive oak.

Contrary to the soberness of the building, many pieces of furniture in the interior are ornamented with a very rich design: just as the harmonious Calvet chair, the back of this bench is decorated by three horizontally aligned floral motives. Each of these ornaments is carved in the wood and presents the peculiarity to be surrounded, on their turn, by three floral symmetrical motives creating a triangle. The curves of the back itself create lines that remind of flower petals. Just like all the furniture designed by Gaudí, this piece is very anatomic in order to increase the seat comfort.

We must remark that the perpendicular rotation point, situated between the arm and the back, is completely jutting out, which contributes to the impression of slenderness, almost fragility, in spite of the considerable dimensions of the piece.

This piece of art is on sale in our online shop.

 

CASA CALVET FLOWER SEAT

1900-1901

Material: Oak wood with carving
Author: Taller Casas i Bardés; design by Gaudí
Original location: Meeting Room of Casa Calvet
Dimensions: 95 x 52 x 56 cm.

All the chairs of the meeting room of Casa Calvet share the particularity to have one unique support uniting the seat with the back. This is formed by five pieces in angle obtaining a comfortable cavity that adapts to the anatomy of the back.

The sinuous trapezoidal shape and the central decoration, based on circular geometries and placed coffee bones, grant a slender line to this furniture. Lightly lowered down for a major adaptability, the seat presents five aligned wholes in order to avoid that the user might lose his balance. The posterior parts of the seat and the back maker its edges smooth thanks to their elegant and sinuous profile. The posterior legs are sufficiently inclined to give stability to the piece.

This piece of art is for sale in our online shop.

 

CALVET MIRROR

Material: Oak wood
Author: Casas & Bardés, cabinet-makers
Original location: Casa Calvet
Dimensions: 58 x 195 cm.

Gaudí accorded a lot of importance to the exterior as well as the interior space. In this point of view, the furniture was treated form a global perspective in harmony with the architecture and the functional objects received a special decorative treatment, creating very personalised aesthetic environments. Gaudí didn't look for originality for itself, but he defended and put in practice the idea that the shape and decoration had to serve the functionality of each object.

All the pieces of furniture of Casa Calvet are made of oak wood and have organic shapes. The mirrors create a union with the chairs. The original piece is decorated with a layer of gold foil.

The shape of the frame does not only attract attention, but the void occupied by the mirror also draws another Gaudinist shape which the pieces of furniture of massive volume cannot allow.

esides this derived particularity, the frame of the mirror is a real piece of art. Its design remains faithful to the undulating and circular motive, even in the descending slights covering its total altitude, it never adopts totally right lines.

This piece of art is for sale in our online shop, in two different dimensions, gilt with gold foil or in natural oak wood.

 

CASA CALVET ARMCHAIR

1900-1901
Material: Oak wood
Author: Taller Casas i Bardés; design by Gaudí
Original location: administration office of Casa Calvet
Dimensions: 101 x 67 x 57 cm.

The style of this chair marks a transition between the furniture of the Meeting Room of Casa Calvet and the furniture designed for the houses Batlló and Milà: whilst the legs remind of the furniture of the Meeting Room, the rest of the elements -seat, back, arms and supports- present a more sober style.

Without any ornamentation, the seat, with its circular shape, is formed by five pieces inserted only by means of pivots as well as precision and execution rigor; the back is jointed with a thick neck, from which the arms ending in the shape of a curved hand also come out. The shape of the heart of the back coincides with the point of the back that corresponds to this vital organ.

The original location of this furniture is the administration office of Casa Calvet, for which Gaudí also designed an office desk and a corner tabouret.

This piece of arte, which everybody would like to have, is for sale in our online shop.

 

CALVET CORNER TABOURET

1900-1901
Material: oak wood
Author: Taller Casas i Bardés; design Gaudí
Original location: administration office of Casa Calvet
Dimensions: 65 x 57,5 x 40 cm.

This tabouret is a complement to the furniture for the administration office of Casa Calvet. The small back, following the outline of the seat, reminds of the forms of the central balconies of the posterior façade of the building, very different from the main façade. Its shape shows the changes which Gaudí used to make in order to balance the symmetries of the structures. Once again, the simplicity and comfort of the piece are outstanding characteristics.

The legs of this piece of furniture are right, just like the crosspieces that unite them. However, as they have a circular line, they recuperate the character and are perfectly integrated in the whole of the furniture of this room.

This piece of art is for sale in our online shop

 

CHAIR OF THE LIVING ROOM OF CASA BATLLÓ

1907
Material: Oak wood
Author: Taller Casas i Bardés; design by Gaudí
Original location: living room of Casa Batlló
Dimensions: 50 x 50 x 75 cm

Individual seat which because of its shapes, adapts to the position of the body and because of its altitude, finds its balance with the table of the living room of Casa Batlló. Gaudí reduced the structure to minimum expression. The aestheticism of this chair, based on the simplicity, elude the right lines. Again, comfort is pursued by the light ergonomic inclination of the back.

The circular voids situated on each side of the back which could make us think of a light decoration, are some functional cut-backs pretending to help to move the chair in case this is necessary.

The apparently right lines of the legs maintain a characteristic spiral movement. In order to obtain a stable but light construction, the legs are thinner in the inferior part.

This piece of art is for sale in our online shop

 

CASA BATLLÓ 2 SEAT

1907
Material: Oak wood
Author: Taller Casas i Bardés; design by Gaudí
Original location: living room of Casa Batlló
Dimensions: 104 x 168 x 75 cm.

This piece follows the same concept as the seat of the living room of Casa Batlló. Its conception, shape and colour give it a peculiar aspect and a unique structure among its gender: the idea of two seats that do not fulfil the classical aligned disposition of a 2 seat bench. Here the space of each user is abruptly delimited by jeans of a central armrest, acting as divisor. Besides, there's a change of orientation in the two seats: they are not aligned but set in equal angles regarding to the central axe, yet opposed. The setting of the seats provokes the original design with three legs in the front and two at the back. These last legs are a prolongation of the union between the seat and the back. The central frontal leg is shared by the two seats, just like the armrest - the left one for one user and the right one for the other -.

The ergonomic shape of the backs shows Gaudí's constant preoccupation for the comfort of the user.

Gaudí's tendency for the allegoric representations is manifested in a simple way, describing the intimate human reality in which the people, in spite of sharing the same place, are very often alone and isolated.

This piece of art is for sale in our online shop

 

CHURCH BENCH COLONIA GÜELL

1914
Material: oak wood and iron
Original location: Parrish of the Holey Heart Colonia Güell
Dimensions: 104 x 168 x 75 cm.

Among the last pieces of furniture designed by Gaudí we have the benches designed for the Colonia Güell Church (1914).

Once again, its construction materials are iron and wood. The rectilinear back doesn't correspond with the lines of the seats which were sensibly inclined to the extremes, which made it rather difficult to have a conversation with the other person sitting on the bench. The chairs could be lifted so that they wouldn't get dirty by muddy feet at rainy days.

Today there are 13 original Gaudí benches conservedľone of them is exposed in the Gaudí House-Museum of Park Güell-.

This piece of furniture isn't for sale. However, you can buy its exact miniature replica in our online shop




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