El Capricho, Gaudí

El Capricho, Gaudí
El Capricho, Gaudí

When we think of the works of Antonio Gaudí our mind travels to the city of Barcelona and although it is true that in the city of Barcelona there are some of the most representative works of the architect such as La Casa Milá or Parque Güell, the truth is that we can find works by the modernist architect either in León, in Ponferrada or, as in this case, in a small coastal town in Cantabria, in Comillas, where the work known as El Capricho is located.


Antoni Gaudí i Cornet (1852 – 1926) is considered the most representative architect of modernist aesthetics in Spain. In his buildings you can appreciate agreat technical quality and boundless imaginationthat made each one of his designs a precious, unique and incomparable work. A supporter of innovation, Gaudí managed to incorporate new materials such as glass or iron into his constructions while combining them with other more traditional ones such as ceramics. The architect was inspired by the natural world and left in all his works a great imprint of his deep religious spirit.

At the end of the 19th century, around 1883, the architect received a singular commission from Don Máximo Díaz de Quijano, the brother-in-law of the Marquis of Comillas himself, who commissioned the artist to build a summer house in the town of Comillas. The architect was already an old acquaintance of the family of theMarqués since he had previously worked on the construction and furniture design of the Sorellana Palace together with the architect Joan Martorell.

It seems that Don Máximo wanted to erect an oriental-style building. The artist was able to base himself on some of the designs that he had made during his university years and as Gaudí was also working at La Pedrera at that time, he decided that his assistant, Cristofor Cascante i Colom, should join the Comillas project.

With a rectangular floor plan of just over thirty-five centimeters long and fifteen wide, Gaudí structured the house on three well-differentiated floors in which the lower floor acts as a basement, the main floor of the house and finally the upper floor that acts as a loft. Elevated on a light podium, access to the house is through a staircase that allows to overcome the difference in level and that takes us to a portico supported by four thick columns and lowered arches; Above the small portico rises a circular tower as if it were the minaret of a mosque.

The house is oriented around two fundamental concepts: on the one hand the use of light, Gaudí reflected in El Capricho the same use of light that sunflowers make of the sun, of so that each room is oriented towards the light that is most useful to it. On the other hand, we must point out how the client was a great lover of music, a resource that the architect takes advantage of in the decoration of the complex.making from stained glass windows with musical themes to frets or garlands.

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