written by:
photos by:
January 29, 2011

On our second day in Barcelona, fueled by café con leche and enough jamon to kill a horse, we excitedly settled into a breakneck tour of modern Catalan design and architecture. From Gaudi and Dali to Mariscal and Alvarez, our Barcelona education continues in earnest.

Our first stop of the day was <a href="http://hotelpalacebarcelona.com/">El Palace Barcelona</a>, a stately old structure built in 1919 as one of Spain's first Ritz hotels. We visited the Salvador Dali Suite, and where we were told he partied like a rock
Our first stop of the day was El Palace Barcelona, a stately old structure built in 1919 as one of Spain's first Ritz hotels. We visited the Salvador Dali Suite, and where we were told he partied like a rock star for months at a time, even bringing a horse into the room at one point (don't ask).
Photo by 
1 / 20
Inside the Dali Suite, there's a Roman bath that's original to the building. I've never seen anything like it—you can fill it up with water and make a little mini swimming pool. The hotel director said that the bath alcove had been boarded up for several
Inside the Dali Suite, there's a Roman bath that's original to the building. I've never seen anything like it—you can fill it up with water and make a little mini swimming pool. The hotel director said that the bath alcove had been boarded up for several decades, and they weren't even aware that it was there. All of the tile was in excellent condition, even though it's over ninety years old.
Photo by 
2 / 20
I guess the Roman bath was quite a hit with Dali—here's a photograph of the artist, enjoying the space with two young friends. Next time you're in Barcelona and you have $8,845 burning a hole in your pocket, feel free to book the two-bedroom suite and try
I guess the Roman bath was quite a hit with Dali—here's a photograph of the artist, enjoying the space with two young friends. Next time you're in Barcelona and you have $8,845 burning a hole in your pocket, feel free to book the two-bedroom suite and try to figure out how Dali got that horse up the hotel's main staircase.
Photo by 
3 / 20
After our surreal walk down memory lane, we stopped at the <a href="http://www.gastonydaniela.com">Gastón y Daniela</a> showroom, located in a lovely nineteenth-century building near the Palace hotel. The textile purveyor, established in 1876, has long re
After our surreal walk down memory lane, we stopped at the Gastón y Daniela showroom, located in a lovely nineteenth-century building near the Palace hotel. The textile purveyor, established in 1876, has long represented Spain in the world of high quality fabrics, and has a huge archive of patterns that run the gamut from staunchly traditional to reinvigorated classics. One such example is Sidonia, left, an updated version of 14th-century decorative element found in a cathedral in Bilbao.
Photo by 
4 / 20
Jesús Garabieta, the company's head designer, points to another updated version of an old favorite—Telares. The original design came from an 18th century engraving that depicts the mechanics of weaving.
Jesús Garabieta, the company's head designer, points to another updated version of an old favorite—Telares. The original design came from an 18th century engraving that depicts the mechanics of weaving.
Photo by 
5 / 20
Upon closer inspection, my fellow tour attendee, Metropolis editor Avinash Rajogapal, declared the work "very meta".
Upon closer inspection, my fellow tour attendee, Metropolis editor Avinash Rajogapal, declared the work "very meta".
Photo by 
6 / 20
We watched as Garabieta unfurled a few of his favorite designs from the archives. The one featured here with the purple flowers in called Sintra, and it's inspired by Japanese kimono designs.
We watched as Garabieta unfurled a few of his favorite designs from the archives. The one featured here with the purple flowers in called Sintra, and it's inspired by Japanese kimono designs.
Photo by 
7 / 20
We stopped by <a href="http://www.cubinya.es/">Cubinya</a>, a nearly 100-year-old company located within a meticulously restored Moderisme building by architect Domènech i Montenar. The structure, once the home of a printing press, is an impressive backdr
We stopped by Cubinya, a nearly 100-year-old company located within a meticulously restored Moderisme building by architect Domènech i Montenar. The structure, once the home of a printing press, is an impressive backdrop for the company's large stock of modern furniture and lighting pieces.
Photo by 
8 / 20
It's no secret that Spain has amazing tile. Case in point is Cubina's flooring, which was restored bit by bit back to its original vibrancy. The hues, which are much brighter than this photograph depicts, melds perfectly with the mellow pine walls and roo
It's no secret that Spain has amazing tile. Case in point is Cubina's flooring, which was restored bit by bit back to its original vibrancy. The hues, which are much brighter than this photograph depicts, melds perfectly with the mellow pine walls and room dividers.
Photo by 
9 / 20
A shot of the ceiling showcases the room's original and restored decorative elements, from the hand-painted ceiling to the ornate columns that delineate space. Montenar, a contemporary of Antoni Gaudi, was actually the more popular architect for commercia
A shot of the ceiling showcases the room's original and restored decorative elements, from the hand-painted ceiling to the ornate columns that delineate space. Montenar, a contemporary of Antoni Gaudi, was actually the more popular architect for commercial commissions during their shared heyday.
Photo by 
10 / 20
11 / 20
One of the highlights of the trip as been the opportunity to catch the last day of the exhibition <a href="http://www.mariscal.com/enlapedrera/">Mariscal en la Pedrera</a>, a retrospective of the Spanish designer's work over the last forty years. The only
One of the highlights of the trip as been the opportunity to catch the last day of the exhibition Mariscal en la Pedrera, a retrospective of the Spanish designer's work over the last forty years. The only thing better than seeing an exhibit of work that you admire is seeing it accompanied by the artist himself. Here is Javier Mariscal at the entrance to the exhibition, surrounded by a hanging forest of sketches that date back to the 1960s.
Photo by 
12 / 20
The exhibition is housed within Antoni Gaudi's famous building La Pedrera, or <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casa_Mil%C3%A0">Casa Milà</a>, which is an UNESCO World Heritage site. These massive columns appear throughout the structure, and offer a w
The exhibition is housed within Antoni Gaudi's famous building La Pedrera, or Casa Milà, which is an UNESCO World Heritage site. These massive columns appear throughout the structure, and offer a weighty counterpoint to Mariscal's colorful works.
Photo by 
13 / 20
Mariscal's furniture designs for the postmodern Memphis design and architecture group, created in the early 1980s, convey his exuberant sensibilities. The Duplex Bar Stool, left, and the Hilton Trolley Serving Cart, right.
Mariscal's furniture designs for the postmodern Memphis design and architecture group, created in the early 1980s, convey his exuberant sensibilities. The Duplex Bar Stool, left, and the Hilton Trolley Serving Cart, right.
Photo by 
14 / 20
Another Mariscal classic—the Alessandra armchair, designed for Moroso in 1995.
Another Mariscal classic—the Alessandra armchair, designed for Moroso in 1995.
Photo by 
15 / 20
A collection of the designer's illustrated magazine covers, from The New Yorker to Valencia's Diseño Gráfico, reinforces both his unabashed love of color as well as his staggering amount of creative output over the years.
A collection of the designer's illustrated magazine covers, from The New Yorker to Valencia's Diseño Gráfico, reinforces both his unabashed love of color as well as his staggering amount of creative output over the years.
Photo by 
16 / 20
17 / 20
18 / 20
One of my favorite pieces in the showroom was also one of the most recently introduced—the 2010 Scantling floor lamp by London designer Mathias Hahn. From the secret drawings of an upcoming collaboration with a young up-and-coming lighting design trio in
One of my favorite pieces in the showroom was also one of the most recently introduced—the 2010 Scantling floor lamp by London designer Mathias Hahn. From the secret drawings of an upcoming collaboration with a young up-and-coming lighting design trio in Brooklyn to its just-opened Chelsea showroom, Marset is about to become a major player in the US market.
Photo by 
19 / 20
We capped our tour of the showroom with an impressive spread of Catalan specialties—Jamón ibérico, pan y tomate, Carxofes fregides (fried artichokes), croquetes, and of course the ubiquitous olive oil contained in a decanter by <a href="http://www.dwell.c
We capped our tour of the showroom with an impressive spread of Catalan specialties—Jamón ibérico, pan y tomate, Carxofes fregides (fried artichokes), croquetes, and of course the ubiquitous olive oil contained in a decanter by Rafael Marquina. We happily stuffed our faces, and then returned to our hotel to prepare for another day exploring Barcelona's modern design heritage. To read more about our Barcelona tour, click here.
Photo by 
20 / 20
Our first stop of the day was <a href="http://hotelpalacebarcelona.com/">El Palace Barcelona</a>, a stately old structure built in 1919 as one of Spain's first Ritz hotels. We visited the Salvador Dali Suite, and where we were told he partied like a rock
Our first stop of the day was El Palace Barcelona, a stately old structure built in 1919 as one of Spain's first Ritz hotels. We visited the Salvador Dali Suite, and where we were told he partied like a rock star for months at a time, even bringing a horse into the room at one point (don't ask).

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

45 dva 2270 persp1 cmyk 0
The prospect of retirement doesn’t just signal the end of a career; it offers the chance to recalibrate and re-prioritize in life.
July 25, 2016
18
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016