Lonely Planet Writer

One of Gaudi’s destroyed works has been faithfully reproduced

A fountain, designed by the famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, which was demolished more than 70 years ago, has now been entirely recreated, and can be found at the Museu Agbar de les Aigües (Water Museum), just outside Barcelona.

The recreated Cascade de Gaudi. Photo by: Museu Agbar de les Aigües.

The Cascada by Antoni Gaudí was designed for Casa Vicens, the architect’s first project in Barcelona. The house was constructed between 1883 and 1885, and the fountain was installed in the garden, as both an artistic piece and a cooling mechanism. However, in 1945, the Vicens family were forced to sell some of their land, due to urban pressures and the expanding city, and the fountain was destroyed.

Now, a team of experts, under the direction of Josep Vicenç Gómez Serrano, a Gaudí specialist and architecture professor at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, have produced an exact replica of the Cascada, bringing this piece of Gaudí’s work back to life.

Detail on the recreated Cascada de Gaudi. Photo by: Museu Agbar de les Aigües.

“To carry out this task, we had to study photographs and plans of the waterfall from Casa Vicens”, explains Daniel Giralt-Miracle, historian and specialist in Gaudí. Despite the original having been demolished, the reconstruction has been possible thanks to the new technological advances and possibilities. Based on all the collated materials, the architects were able to create an accurate digital reconstruction, which was used as a plan to rebuild the fountain. Construction was carried out in just six months, a record time taking into account the complexity of the project.

The recreated fountain has been built exactly to Gaudi’s design. Photo by: Museu Agbar de les Aigües.

The fountain has been replicated exactly the way Gaudí designed it, using the same materials and construction processes as he would have. It’s made from 27,000 handmade bricks and 3000 tiles – only held together by mortar. The waterfall part is made from a parabolic arch, in which there is an interior passage. Above, are two pillars located at each end, which allow water to swell and fall, recreating the natural effects designed by Gaudí himself.

Visitors can now see the Cascada, in the gardens of the Museu de les Aigües (Water Museum) in Cornellà de Llobregat, which will be the star of a whole series of pieces of historical interest, which encapsulate the industrial style of the 1930s.