Barcelona (English /bɑrsɨˈloʊnə/, Catalan: [bərsəˈɫonə], Spanish: [barθeˈlona]) is the capital of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, after Madrid, with a population of 1,620,943 within its administrative limits on a land area of 101.4 km2 (39 sq mi). The urban area of Barcelona extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 4.5 million within an area of 803 km2 (310 sq mi), being the sixth-most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, the Ruhr, Madrid and Milan. About five million people live in the Barcelona metropolitan area. It is also the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea. It is located on the Mediterranean coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs and is bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola ridge (512 metres (1,680 ft)).
Casa Batlló (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈkazə βəʎˈʎo]) is a renowned building located in the heart of Barcelona and is one of Antoni Gaudí’s masterpieces. Casa Batlló is a remodel of a previously built house. It was redesigned in 1904 by Gaudí and has been refurbished several times after that. Casa Batlló evokes the creativity and playfulness of Gaudí’s work through the incracite facades and creative floors. Gaudí's assistants Domènec Sugrañes i Gras, Josep Canaleta and Joan Rubió also contributed to the renovation project.
The local name for the building is Casa dels ossos (House of Bones), as it has a visceral, skeletal organic quality. It was originally designed for a middle-class family and situated in a prosperous district of Barcelona.
The building looks very remarkable — like everything Gaudí designed, only identifiable as Modernisme or Art Nouveau in the broadest sense. The ground floor, in particular, is rather astonishing with tracery, irregular oval windows and flowing sculpted stone work.
It seems that the goal of the designer was to avoid straight lines completely. Much of the façade is decorated with a mosaic made of broken ceramic tiles (trencadís) that starts in shades of golden orange moving into greenish blues. The roof is arched and was likened to the back of a dragon or dinosaur. A common theory about the building is that the rounded feature to the left of centre, terminating at the top in a turret and cross, represents the lance of Saint George (patron saint of Catalonia, Gaudí's home), which has been plunged into the back of the dragon.
Antoni Gaudí was an architect from Catalonia, Spain, who belonged to the Modernisme (Art Nouveau) movement and was famous for his unique style and highly individualistic designs.
Gaudí, as an architecture student at the Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura in Barcelona from 1873 to 1877, achieved only mediocre grades but did well in his "trial drawings and projects." After five years of work, he was awarded the title of architect in 1878. As he signed Gaudí's title, Elies Rogent declared, "Qui sap si hem donat el diploma a un boig o a un geni: el temps ens ho dirà" ("Who knows if we have given this diploma to a nut or to a genius. Time will tell.")
The newly named architect immediately began to plan and design and would remain affiliated with the school his entire life.