A couple of doors along from the Casa Batllo are a couple of other modernista houses which don’t get as much attention as their more famous neighbour. Both are highly decorative and adhere to the bourgeois rentier model of the ground floor let out to commerce, the piano nobile for the family (encompassing public and private rooms), and the upper floors rented out as apartments. They represent a fusion of industrial wealth, expanding city, Catalan revivalism, the latest technology, local crafts and materials, and a particular take on Gothic/Arts and Crafts crossed with Art Nouveau. Being private houses, they are less overtly modernista – so the Casa Lleo Morera stands out in a different way from the Castel dels Tres Dragons by the Parc de la Ciutadella (also by Montener).
The Casa Amatller is notable for having retained much of its original furniture by Gaspar Homar. The bedroom furniture has a design of almond blossom, making a play on the name Amatller:
The light well is topped by a lovely fanlight:
and I liked the stone owls on the entrance to the library:
Pattern is everywhere in all media, making a garden of a rather sterile townhouse:
Casa Lleo Morera
This house doesn’t just bring a garden into the house but a whole farmyard! The stained glass elevation at the rear is four storeys high and offers a sylvan idyll on each floor. It is even more over the top in its decoration than the previous house, with its Catalan folk tales (by Eusebi Arnau) enshrined in the public areas:
and its creepy mosaics in the dining room:
Like the previous house, it plays with the owner’s name (which means mulberry) by having the trees and fruit throughout the house. It also has Mackintosh-like roses:
and other vegetation everywhere:
not to mention the Catalan domestic fowls:
How on earth did the owners of these houses live up to such fantastical surroundings?