The Art Nouveau Site

The Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site, formerly the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, is one of the most outstanding examples of Art Nouveau architecture in Barcelona. Its designer, the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, was commissioned to construct another of the principal Art Nouveau buildings in Barcelona, the Palau de la Música. Both were declared UNESCO World Heritage in 1997 in recognition of their uniqueness and beauty.

The Art Nouveau Site is Europe’s largest architectural site in this style and one of the foremost examples of Modernisme, the Catalan Art Nouveau. Domènech devised a “city within a city”, with pavilions set in gardens and interconnected by a network of underground tunnels.

With its use as a hospital in mind, the architect designed a built space within the layout of the Eixample, turned through 45 degrees from the grid of city blocks designed by Ildefons Cerdà. This gave the space a perfect North-South orientation, providing better ventilation and more hours of daylight.