The distinct architecture of Barcelona, with its curved shapes, floral motifs and ornamentation, is defined by its Catalan Modernism. The aesthetically pleasing style was a major force in the larger Modernisme movement, which also permeated art, theater and literature at the end of the 19th century.
This recently refurbished Modernist house is located in the area of Tibidabo Mountain, the tallest hill in Collserola Natural Park, an expansive green space within Barcelona, the capital city of Catalonia.
Villa Paula, as it is known, was designed in 1912 by Spanish architect Jerome Granell Manresa. He is known for creating the stained-glass windows of Barcelona’s famed concert hall, Palau de la Música Catalana. Other examples of the stained-glass maker’s work can be found locally in the landmark Navàs House and the Hospital of the Holy Cross and Saint Paul.
Manresa’s use of sgraffito on stucco exteriors—to create contrasting color designs by scratching through the facade to reveal the layer below—remains in evidence on select residential buildings today.
The more than 8,200-square-foot home retains such original and restored Modernist features as the facade, the mosaic tilework, the high ceilings with moldings, the stained-glass windows and the Arabic-style roof crowned with green tiles. The four floors are accessed by a marble staircase and an elevator. The watchtower can serve as a guest house, an office or a studio.
The light-filled rooms have hardwood, marble or mosaic-tile floors, air-conditioning and in-floor heating. There are eight bedrooms, a conservatory, a home theater, a gym, a wine cellar and eight bathrooms.
The 10 acres of grounds contain gardens, terraces and mature trees. A gently curved staircase off the house leads to a terracotta veranda surrounding an infinity pool. A wooden deck below the pool level creates another outdoor lounging space. Views take in Barcelona and the coastline along the Mediterranean Sea.
A two-car garage and a workshop complete the gated property.
Villa Paula is located about five kilometers, or three miles, from Barcelona’s city center. International flights are available from Barcelona–El Prat Airport, about a 20-minute drive away.