When, at the of 1905 Josep Bayó Font was finishing the decoration of the Batlló family residence for Milà, he was visited by Pere Milà Camps. Bayó showed him the flat and on bidding farewell, Milà gave him a pat on the back, saying, “Now we must star on my house on the corners of Passeig de Gràcia and Carrer Provença and I want it in stone but vith the joints gilded, something that has never been done before”. It is true that Gaudí built Casa Milà, called the La Pedrera, or the quarry, with stone, but the gilded joints were no more than a frivolity of the stylish client.
On the 2 February 1906 Gaudí signed the project contract for the house of his new client and began his second big civil work in the stately Barcelona avenue. According to José Bayó, an eyewitness, Gaudí put his fingers in the hexagonal wax model of the paving stones, which werw made on the site of Casa Batlló itself. The piece of hydraulic mosaic in relief and of a pale green colour draws, when seven units are pieced together, a triple drawing representing an algae (Sargassum species), a snail (cephalopod of the Ammonites family) and a sea star (Equinodermus, of the Ophiroideus family). Pere Milà Camps married Pilar Segimon Artells, a lady born in Reusand widow of a rich indiano, a Spaniard who returned to Spainhaving made his fortune in Latin America. The lady was not keen on Gaudi’s ideas, but to keep her husband happy, she lived in the first floor flat of La Pedrera without complaining but, on Gaudi’s death, she changed the decoration for another Louis XVI style, more to her taste.
Casa Milà occupies part of Passeig Gràcia, the corner and a large part of Carrer Provença. It is a house for rented flats with a lower ground floor that was for storage and garages, a mezzanine for offices, the first floor given over entirely for the home of the Milà family, with an independent stairway via the courtyard in Carrer Provença, four floors with two flats per landing, with entry via a lift next to the corner street and a service stairway at the end of this courtyard. On the top is the attic of brickwork catenary arches that was for the laundries and storage, below the flat roof, with the eight stairways, ventilators and chimneys that have made the house famous.
The facade in Passeig de Gràcia and Provença are made of stone from Vilafranca, cut in huge blocks and joined to the iron main beam and joists that form the structure of the building supported on brick, stone or cast iron pillars.
In terms of the flats, Gaudí designed them as a series of spaces joined to each other by partitions with large window that enabled one to see the whole flat from one end to the other. Light freely penetrates through the large windows and balcony doors that lead to the terraces, where the twisted iron railings designed by Jujol are placed. The ceilings of the corridors and rooms are in plaster and relief, all different and sculpted with forms and inscriptions that produce a pleasant sensation of harmony and gentle movement.
The Milà family refused to have the building crowned by a sculptural group over four metres high of the Virgin and Child. Today beneath the monogram of Maria, we find a rose in stone, a Marian allegory.
Text source: Gaudi The Entire Works