this small summer house built in comillas, northern spain, in 1885 in a distinct green color protected by huge solid trees has a clear exotic inspiration and represents the mudejar and orientalist influence of antoni gaudí’s early works. these style marks are expressed both by the use of materials — stone in the lower part of the house, exposed brick adorned with glazed ceramic strips representing sunflowers and leaves — and the outstanding presence of a persian air minaret that provides verticality to the building completed with colored ceramic and cast iron elements that also point to the splendor of european art nouveau.

 

photo series by david cardelús captures ‘el capricho’ from every possible angle to give us a chance to explore the site.

david cardeliús captures antoni gauidí's el capricho designboom
el capricho is surrounded by gardens and tall trees

 

 

el capricho is a small and beautiful hidden gem surrounded by a very unique landscape, one of gaudí’s few buildings outside catalonia and that, like all the works of the architect, displays a great richness of detail and symbolism. surely one of the most surprising elements of el capricho is the constant presence of ceramic tiles with sunflowers, a plant impossible to find in the rainy region of cantabria.

david cardeliús captures antoni gauidí's el capricho designboom
for the time of construction, the building’s style was extremely extravagant

 

 

the house is oriented as a perfect solar compass following sunrise and sunset path to coincide with the domestic activities that take place inside. the name of the building, el capricho (eng. ‘the whim’), evokes the freedom of style of the musical composition but also speaks of the client máximo díaz de quijano’s desire to erect a building with such an extravagant look for the time in a place like comillas.


main entrance and persian influence minaret

 

david cardeliús captures antoni gauidí's el capricho designboom
the building represents the orientalist influence of antoni gaudi’s early work

 


the forging elements on the minaret take the form of musical notes because the client was a musician

 

david cardeliús captures antoni gauidí's el capricho designboom
a distinctive color palette in green and orange dominates

 


exposed brick, glazed ceramic strips and cast iron elements on the façade

 

david cardeliús captures antoni gauidí's el capricho designboom
‘coup de fouet’ cast iron elements on balconies

 


el capricho is the only gaudí building with a remarkable presence of nature

 


four marble pillars oriented to the cardinal points make up the building entrance

 

david cardeliús captures antoni gauidí's el capricho designboom
ceramic tiles representing sunflowers arranged in horizontal stripes are intended to take the sun into the building

 


the south façade of the building is a large greenhouse

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: maria erman | designboom

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news