After a long period of closure due to renovations, Casa Batlló, the famous modernist building designed by Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona, has reopened its doors to present the Casa Batlló 10D Experience, a new highly immersive visit, even more engaging.
In the new project, the intervention curated by the Kengo Kuma & associates studio stands out: cascading light curtains that adorn the atrium and envelop a new staircase that connects the ground floor to the 2,000 m2 of additional exhibition spaces created in a former coal bunker in the basement, as well as another staircase that extends to all eight floors of the building.
If Casa Batlló is a tribute to the light of the Mediterranean, the Japanese architect's project is a tribute to Gaudí's use of light in all the interiors of the house.
Light that “travels from the bright sky of the roof to the dark depths of the coal bunkers”, this is Kengo Kuma's definition.
“We imagined this space dressed in aluminum 'connecting curtains' which with their meticulous materiality capture the light, as if they were fishing nets, and show it to us in all its forms: brightness, silhouettes, shadows”, explains the Japanese architect in reference to the staircase leading down to the otherwise dark basement. “In this way, omitting the use of any other material and hiding the presence of technical elements through the chains, we can speak only of light and light”.
The tents were made using 164,000 meters of aluminum chains from the Spanish company Kriskadecor. The lighting, developed by the Italian master of light Mario Nanni, reflects the metal chains, emphasizing their iridescent sinuosity and making them sparkle.
The tour of Casa Batlló begins with the spectacular staircase with a floating effect: made up of thirteen tons of sculpted glossy black marble, it is embellished - and lightened - by a cascade of chains that starts from the ceiling and descends to the basement.
The sculptural and at the same time soft lines accompany the architecture with organic shapes, Gaudí's unmistakable stylistic signature, as well as giving movement and volume to the space thanks to the various overlapping layers that, depending on the time of day, absorb the different shades of light filtering through the skylight.
When the visitor finishes the visit on the roof, the descent of the eight floors takes place through another staircase adorned - and illuminated - by chains that, worked in layers, create a second skin.
Each curtain is made up of single chain threads which are suspended from the variously inclined ceilings and from the surfaces below the stairs.
Each curtain, along its vertical length, gradually changes shades: the lighter colors at the top gradually darken until they become black at the height of the new spaces created in the former coal bunker, thus echoing the way in which the light of the day filters through the central courtyard of the building.