- Website: www.casabatllo.es
- Sector: Heritage
- Country: Spain
- Revenue: €20M to €30M
A gaudi work of art
If you’re walking down the street in Barcelona, you may happen to glance up and notice that the roof above you is not as it seems. Its colours may be fantastical, and it may bend into shapes that roofs are not meant to. If that happens, it is highly likely that you’re staring at the work of one of Spain’s most cherished sons: Antoni Gaudí.
The architect left an indelible mark on the city and nearly a century after his death he still draws tens of thousands of tourists from across the world to admire his work. Most of the buildings to which he added his touch have been protected as heritage sites. One of the most famous of these is the Casa Batlló, whose technicoloured exterior, with its twisted iron balconies and fairytale castle-like rooftop, is unlike anything you’ll have seen before.
"Our aim is to make understandable the work of a genius"
"Antoni Gaudí had a vision, a dream about a dialogue between light, colour and freedom," says Gary Gautier, Managing Director of Casa Batlló, the company dedicated to the preservation of the site. He describes the building as the "perfect combination of art, functionality and architecture," and says the mission of his staff is to disseminate this enthusiasm for Gaudí’s work as far and wide as possible. "Our aim is to make understandable the work of a genius, what Gaudí wanted to express through his architecture, and to support this valuable part of our heritage and to bring his vision closer to the people."
In 2014 the company launched a video guide that gave viewers an augmented reality experience of the house’s interior, offering a more dynamic, captivating and, of course, surprising cultural experience.
2002 – The year Casa Batlló was opened to the public. It became a Unesco World Heritage site in 2005
Such investments in areas of innovation have allowed the company to continue its business through difficult economic periods in which tourist numbers dropped and the queues outside the iconic site thinned. Gary says the secret to its success has been perseverance despite setbacks, and to think in a way that others might not. "Challenges always start out of your comfort zone," he says. It’s a sentiment which Gaudí himself would have wholeheartedly endorsed.