Casa Milà

Casa Milà

Coordinates: 41°23′43″N 2°09′42″E / 41.39528°N 2.16167°E / 41.39528; 2.16167

Casa Milà at dusk
Casa Milà atrium at dusk

Casa Milà (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈkazə miˈɫa]), better known as La Pedrera (pronounced: [ɫə pəˈðɾeɾə], meaning the 'The Quarry'), is a building designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built during the years 1905–1910, being considered officially completed in 1912. It is located at 92, Passeig de Gràcia (passeig is Catalan for promenade) in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

It was a controversial design at the time for the bold forms of the undulating stone facade and wrought iron decoration of the balconies and windows, designed largely by Josep Maria Jujol, who also created some of the plaster ceilings.

Architecturally it is considered an innovative work for its steel structure and curtain walls – the façade is self-supporting. Other innovative elements were the construction of underground car parking and separate lifts and stairs for the owners and their servants.

In 1984, it was declared World Heritage by UNESCO. The building is made open to the public by the CatalunyaCaixa Foundation, which manages the various exhibitions and activities and visits to the interior and roof.



It was built for the married couple, Roser Segimon and Pere Milà. Roser Segimon was the wealthy widow of Josep Guardiola, an Indiano, a term applied locally to the Catalans returning from the American colonies with tremendous wealth. Her second husband, Pere Milà, was a developer who was criticized for his flamboyant lifestyle and ridiculed by the contemporary residents of Barcelona, when they joked about his love of money and opulence, wondering if he was not rather more interested in "the widow’s guardiola" (piggy bank), than in "Guardiola’s widow".[1]

Gaudi, a Catholic and a devotee of the Virgin Mary, planned for the Casa Milà to be a spiritual symbol.[2] Overt religious elements include an excerpt from the Rosary prayer on the cornice and planned statues of Mary, specifically Our Lady of the Rosary, and two archangels, St. Michael and St. Gabriel.[3] [4] The design by Gaudi was not followed in some aspects. The local government objected to some aspects of the project, fined the owners for many infractions of building codes, ordered the demolition of aspects exceeding the height standard for the city.[5] The Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century Architecture states that the statuary was indeed Mary the mother of Jesus, also noting Gaudi's devoutness, and notes that the owner decided not to include it after Semana Trágica, an outbreak of anticlericalism in the city.[6] After the decision was made to exclude the statuary of Mary and the archangels, Gaudi contemplated abandoning the project but was persuaded not to by a priest.[7]

Casa Milà was in poor condition in the early 1980s. It had been painted a dreary brown and many of its interior color schemes had been abandoned or allowed to deteriorate, but it has since been restored and many of the original colors revived.


  • The building is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Works of Antoni Gaudí".
  • Gaudi wanted the people who lived in the flats to all know each other. Therefore there were only lifts on every second floor so people had to communicate with one another on different floors.


Scale model at the Catalunya en Miniatura park

Casa Milà was a predecessor of some buildings with a similar biomorphic appearance:

Free exhibitions often are held on the first floor, which also provides some opportunity to see the interior design. There is a charge for entrance to the apartment on the second floor and the roof. The other floors (3-5) are not open to visitors.

Casa Milà in the media and literature

  • A scene in Professione: reporter, a film directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, was filmed on the roof of the building.
  • Mentioned in the book by Eoin Colfer: Artemis Fowl and the Lost Colony
  • Mentioned in the book by Trudi Alexy 'The Mezuzah in the Madonna's Foot'
  • Several scenes in the movie, Gaudi Afternoon, were filmed at Casa Milà.
  • A scale model of Casa Milà (La Pedrera) is exhibited at the Catalunya en Miniatura park.
  • Featured in the music video for Deep Forest's 'Sweet Lullaby'


See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Sennott, Stephen, Encyclopedia of twentieth century architecture, p. 224, Taylor & Francis
  3. ^ Sennott, Stephen, Encyclopedia of twentieth century architecture, p. 224, Taylor & Francis
  4. ^ La Pedrera (Casa Milà, 1906-1910)
  5. ^ Gaudi: A Biography; Gijs van Hensbergen; Harper Collins; page 214-216
  6. ^ Sennott, Stephen, Encyclopedia of twentieth century architecture, p. 224, Taylor & Francis
  7. ^ La Pedrera (Casa Milà, 1906-1910)
  8. ^ Semler, George, Fodor's Barcelona, p. 85, Random House, Inc., 2008
  • Rainer Zervst. Gaudi, 1852–1926, Antoni Gaudi i Cornet - A Life Devoted to Architecture. Cologne: Benedikt Taschen Verlag GmbH & Co. KG., 1988. p176.

External links

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