|El Capricho (1883-1885)|
|In 1883, Máximo Díaz de Quijano, returned from America with great wealth, entrusted to Gaudí a summer house in Comillas, near Sobrellano's palace. Antoni Gaudí was 31 years old at the time, abundances of optimism, poetry and love to the life, when he accepted the order of the Holy Family. |
Probably for it, since has indicated professor Bassegoda, Gaudí found for El Capricho (The Caprice, in Spanish) prodigious solutions. Díaz de Quijano was a musical amateur, and for this reason we think that the name of The Caprice answers, moved to the architecture, to since as it is in use in music for designating pieces that do not follow the rules and with variations of pace according to a personal caprice.
Gaudí inspired clearly by the Shipper's project (1876) that he had done in the School, with the difference of which in El Capricho there is an alone tower instead of two. Also it presents as a whole and in many of its elements similarities with to the Vicens house, which Gaudí was constructing simultaneously in Gràcia, close to Barcelona, between 1883 and 1888.
El Capricho measures 15x35 meters and is adapted to the difference of the area, with a half basement, the noble floor and a garret.
El Capricho had form of U, that it was protecting from the wind of the North in its hole orientated to the South, a great greenhouse, where Máximo Díaz de Quijano was acclimating the plants that him were bringing of America. The small garden was closing by a few basins with pots in its high part, as which Gaudí will do very much later in the park Güell. The greenhouse was the central piece of the house, to which the rest of rooms were leaned. A solution of central court that gives light from inside to an interior of meaningfully dark entry, gathered of the architecture Arabic and Mudejar, so valued by Gaudí and by the modernist architects of his generation.
The lounge is the principal piece. It has the whole height of the building and windows of guillotine. On having practiced them, there sounds an agreeable music produced by tubular bells, each one with a different tone, which they do of counterweights. Everything is a work of the capricious poet Gaudí, as the Caissoned ceilings of Mudejar inspiration, the applications of ceramics or the small chimneys.
The game of stairs that they lead to the basement and that of snail that leads to the tower is very well resolved, showing Gaudí's great skill with the differences, learned studying the Viollet-le-Duc's dictionary of Gothic architecture.
In the exterior, Gaudí mixes the stone, the brick and the glazed ceramics, which motive is the flower and the leaves of sunflower, producing an agreeable combination with the green intense one of the landscape of Comillas. The original roofs, today missing and disfigured, wereof glazed ceramics.
The chimneys that finish off the covers are also deeply original.
The element most distinguished from El Capricho is the tower, everything it redressed in ceramics with the sunflower, the same ones that Gaudí used in the terrace of the house Vicens. It ends in a terrace similar to that of the warehouse of the Garraf and a small building supported for four columns of cast iron, with a graceful rail.
Díaz de Quijano and Gaudí did not manage to know personally.
Gaudí never visited Comillas. Of the execution of the works there entrusted himself his friend and companion of promotion Cristòfor Cascante i Colom. Both were assistants of Joan Martorell; and from 1882 Cascante had established himself in Comillas to direct the works of the palace of Sobrellano and of the Seminar, projected by Martorell. Cascante had a model and planes very detailed of Gaudí, to whom he was consulting all the doubts for letter.
Nowadays, El Capricho is a restaurant property of a Japanese company.
|Josep Maria Tarragona, June 13, 2006||