david cardelus captures antoni gaudí's el capricho

david cardelus captures antoni gaudí's el capricho

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

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