Reabre La Casa del Guarda del Park Güell

The Park Güell of Barcelona will re-open the Casa del Guarda (Guardhouse), totally rehabilitated, with the objective of increasing the profile of the architect Antoni Gaudí and his presence in Catalan modernism.

This will be possible thanks to the exhibition 'Güell, Gaudí and Barcelona: the expression of an urban ideal”, according to the statement made today by the project commissioner, Mireia Freixa, in the opening presentation.

This project is the joint work of the Museum of History of Barcelona (Muhba) and the Department of Architecture and Urban Projects (Town Planning Sector), and its inauguration will be this Saturday.

The Guardhouse was built between 1901 and 1903 with the objective of being used as a house for the park guard, responding to the principles of utility and interior simplicity, over two floors.

Making use of the initial structure and the floors of the House, the park has structured three new reviews to understand the work of the author and the influence he brought to bear throughout Barcelona under the title 'House - Park - City', "a new concept in exhibitions which will speak of the history of the city and the utopian and simultaneously realistic vision of Gaudí", asserted the director of the Mubha, Joan Roca, who also attended the presentation.

According to Roca, the lower floor will speak of the house as a “specific concept of Gaudí’s work”, in which an atmosphere closer to “domestic architecture” was aimed at, demonstrating that Gaudí’s work sought an architectural objective before an artistic one.

The first floor will include the beginnings of the park and its function throughout the years, the initial failure of Güell to understand the poor location of the park – little access to public transport, narrow streets, amongst others – and the social and public use it ultimately came to fulfil.

The loft will show a film which covers the different geographical points close to the park, as well as old photographs for comparison with the present, and will speak of the artistic presence of Gaudi throughout the whole of Barcelona, “a window through which one must look, as it reflects the whole of our city”, commented Freixa.

As a novelty for this exhibition the 'Güell-Gaudí' symbiosis will also be spoken about, two men who worked together to create “a point of inflection in history on the ambition to perfectly combine earth and human art, architecture and spectacle”, said Freixa.

In this sense, Freixa asserted that the figure of Güell must not be forgotten, as “behind every great artist is an ambitious promoter ".

Roca said he felt very “pleased” with this “grandiose” work, as through a lot of hard work yet one more concept of Gaudì’s work has been rehabilitated, although with this re-opening it is sought to go beyond that and “revalue” the artistic and architectural work of the author.

"A lot, a real lot, is known about Gaudí, much has been said about him, but with this exhibition we aim to begin again, to start from scratch, to once again enjoy all of his work”, said Roca.

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