Modernista Masters: A New Paradigm Of Urban Renewal In Barcelona

casa bures modernista architecture

Catalonian creativity is alive and well in Barcelona, where two residential projects in the Eixample district are a tip of the hat to Modernista architecture. Designed by Catalan architect Francesc Berenguer I Mestres (a friend and close collaborator of Antoni Gaudí), Casa Burés displays the artistic finesse of craftsmen from the early 1900s, while Girona 2 reinvents luxury living in a 100-year-old building from groundbreaking architect Enric Sagnier.

barcelona modernista architecture

The careful restoration of Casa Burés retains the historical integrity of this imposing mansion built for a Spanish textile magnate while incorporating a slew of contemporary touches in its 26 apartments. “Every door, window, ceiling, floor, sculpture and pane of stained glass has been painstakingly studied by experts in Catalonia’s Modernista heritage,” notes Marcus Donaldson, a founding partner of Bonavista Developments. A grand lobby showcases the architect’s extravagant touches in detailed frescoes, gilded walls, colorful mosaics, marble columns and bas-relief sculpture, all crowned by a stained-glass dome.

“The most valuable elements have been restored by specialist craftsmen, while others have been replaced with identical pieces adapted to suit today’s purposes or given a new lease on life as decorative features,” Donaldson adds.

girona 2 modernista architecture

Girona 2 is a collection of sleekly designed apartments which celebrates the spirit of architect Enric Sagnier who designed the building in 1897. A set of original plans, lent by the Historical Archive of Barcelona, recreated the light, space and liveability Sagnier intended. This was accomplished by using classic design elements such as high ceilings, pale herringbone parquet floors and carpentry replicated from that era.

Situated steps from the trendy Born neighborhood in Barcelona’s Old Town, the Eixample district pulses with activity in its bars, restaurants, art galleries and museums. “Girona 2 is located where Barcelona’s elites first built their fabulous townhouses at the turn of the 19th century,” comments Jacinto Roqueta, a founding partner of Bonavista Developments. “Now the area is in full swing again. All around are new renovations of historical buildings, new pedestrian areas, new businesses and new life.”

Interior Design: Vilablanch Studio
Developer: Bonavista Developments
Photography: Jose Hevia

This article was one of two Real Estate features in the ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME fall issue. Be sure to check out the second feature, here! 

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