Casa Mila refers to a house of Mila in Spanish. It was designed in 1906 by Gaudi, a genius architect, by the request of the Mila family. Gaudi thought that architecture is like a living organism, designed Casa Mila based on the shape of mountains. In fact, he was inspired by the massive rocky mountains of Cataluna, Montserrat. Right after the construction, Casa Mila was criticized by the public for its 'quarry' appearance. So, until know, it is more likely to be called La Pedrera by the loclas which translates to a quarry in Spanish. Casa Mila was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.
There is a circular courtyard that opens up to the sky upon entering La Pedrera. The open structure enables sunlight to permeate into all of the households through the windows. He always emphasized accepting nature as a part of life.
The roof is a symbol of Casa Mila. The ventilation holes are all shaped slightly differently which symbolizes fire, air, and land. The man-shaped chimney with the helmets symbolizes the guardian of Casa Mila. There is a funny story related to this chimney: the movie director of Star Wars was inspired by this guardian chimney to create a character Storm Trooper.
La Pedrera's attic, where Gaudi believed that there should be two layers of a roof. He made two parabolic round roofs with flat bricks, creating a buffer between the two roofs to prevent the cold and heat during the changing of seasons. This area is now used as a museum of Casa Mila and Guadi's architecture under the name of Espai Gaudi. It is easy to understand how Gaudi designed the architecture inspired by natural elements.
This is on an exhibition floor where you can get a glimpse of the residential life of the early 20th century when Casa Mila was first built. It is the most elegant kitchen decorated with modern style furniture of the time. The wooden floor pattern is connected to the living room, so it is designed to be used as one huge room by opening the sliding door. Guadi always considered convenience, the utilization of spaces, and the life route of the residents. For example, maids' room, kitchen and children's room are located close to each other, so that maids didn't have to walk across the whole house to get to the children's room!
The doors and windows are wide which enables natural light to fully enter the house. Because of the natural light coming in, the atmosphere of the house is more calming and warm.
Casa Mila was a very innovative building when it was built. There are some facilities that were not really common at that time, such as a parking lot or an elevator. Additionally, the hot water boiler and bidet were installed in the bathroom.
After the tour you will come back to the courtyard where you started. It is another symbolic spot of Casa Mila with its winding walls and exceptionally bright staircase. It's similar to the wings of a giant butterfly like it would instantly fly away. Designs, lights, and colors all blend together that create a mysterious atmosphere similar to a natural rainforest.
On the right side of the exit, there is La Pedrera Cafe where you can stop in and have a coffee. As it is located on the first floor of the same building as Casa Mila, you can get a glimpse of the mysterious ceiling designed by Gaudi.
The ticket of Casa Mila includes the audio guide that will help you understand Gaudi's architectural philosophy. Casa Mila is also open during the night. Occasionally, there are some performances or parties on the roof, so you can check their website in advance.
It is recommended to buy a ticket online in advance for the tour. Tickets can be purchased at arrival, but an additional 3 euros will be charged.
The picture above is a replica of a chair designed by Gaudi, located on the second floor of La Pedrera Cafe. Gaudí considered not only on the building, but also on the furniture that fills the house. This chair is designed taking into consideration the structure of the human body such as the shape of an elbow or wrist. You can take a photo in this chair to commemorate your visit to Casa Mila.
Words by Youra CHOI
Photographs by Yuna LEE
Address : Provença, 261-265, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
Transportation : Metro M3, M5 Diagonal
Opening hours : Afternoon tour 9:00-18:30 (last entry 18:00) / Night tour 19:00 - 21:00
Admission Fee : Afternoon tour - general 22 euros, 7-12 years old 11 euros, under 6 years old free / Afternoon tour and skip the line 29 euros, 7-12 years old 11 euros / Night tour 34 euros, 7-12 years old 17 euros
Reservation : click here