Returning to the Passeig de Gràcia, we have, in the space of one block between c/ Aragó and c/ Consell de Cent, the Lleó Morera house (38) by Domenech i Montaner (now the home of the Patronat Municipal de Turisme), the Casa Ametller (39), the work of Puig i Cadafalch, and the Casa Batlló (40) by Antoni Gaudí, an interesting juxtaposition of the three most important Modernista architects, at nos. 35, 41 and 43, respectively. From here, it is well worth turning the corner to come to the old Montaner i Simón publishing house (41) at c/ Aragó, 255, converted to house the Fundació Tàpies and crowned by one of the celebrated artist’s own sculptures. Further up the Passeig de Grácia, at no. 84, before we reach the Pedrera, is the Banca Catalana, (42) a fine building from the 60s by Tous and Fargas. The Casa Millà, also known as the Pedrera, (43) is widely regarded as one of the world’s great works of architecture. With its two polychrome courtyards, its anticipation of the Modern Movement’s open floor plan, its chimneys which come close to the very best avant-garde surrealism, and the sinuous movement of the stone facade, which invokes so much of the expressionist architecture which was to follow it, Gaudí gives evidence in this building of the oneiric quality of his imagination.
Continuing on our way, and crossing the Diagonal, we stop next at the Casa Fuster, (44) Passeig de Gracia, 132, by Domenech i Montaner. This tour of Modernista architecture should also take in the Palau Quadras (45), the work of Puig i Cadafalch, and the Casa Comalat, (46) by Salvador Valeri, which exploits the standard repertoire Modernista devices to the point of caricature (Diagonal, 373 and 442 respectively). The Casa de les Punxes (47) -Diagonal, 416- is one of the most important urban statements by the architect of the Cafè dels Quatre Gats. Here we can clearly see the influence of the neo-Gothic architecture of central Europe on a large part of the work of a man who was to be one of the greatest exponents of Noucentisme prior to his subsequent ostracism after the Spanish Civil War. A little lower down, at c/ Mallorca, 291, Domenech i Montaner’s Casa Thomas, (48) originally only two storeys high until it was extended by Francesc Guardia, is the home of the BD (Barcelona Diseño) design firm.