The Casa Calvet de Barcelona (1899) is one of Antoni Gaudí's earliest buildings. Some people consider it his most conservative work but it also contains markedly modernista elements, such as the façade which terminates in a curve and the attic balconies, which look like something from a fairy tale. The ground floor now houses the restaurant China Crown Barcelona.
The Casa Calvet was built by Antoni Gaudí for the textile manufacturer Pere Màrtir Calvet, who set up his business premises on the ground floor and in the basement, and used the upper floors as his private residence. In 1900, Barcelona City Council awarded it the prize for the best building of the year. The Casa Calvet pays tribute to the baroque Catalan style and was built from stone quarried on Montjuïc, and features splendid wrought ironwork on the balconies. The hall and ground floor are particularly interesting and the latter now houses a restaurant, where you can see the typical Catalan ceiling, granite Solomonic columns and arches with their vine-shaped reliefs.
If you look at the Casa Calvet's façade, you'll see that it terminates in a curve comprising three inverted lobes and two protruding ones, crowned with iron crosses. There are three busts beneath the inverted lobes: Saint Peter the Martyr (Sant Pere Màrtir – the owner's namesake), Saint Genesius of Arles and Saint Genesius of Rome (the patron saints of Calvet's hometown). Indeed, Antoni Gaudí made his client happy by filling the building with details that referred to his life and career, such as the columns in the shape of cotton bobbins that flank the entrance, or the initial “C” over the house's door.
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