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Architecture Work

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Villa Quijano, El Capricho
District of Sobrellano. Comillas (Cantabria)

Near the Sobrellano Palace Gaudí planned a summer villa which became popularly known as El Capricho for Máximo Díaz de Quijano, a relative of the Marques of Comillas. The villa was built between 1883 and 1885, the works directed by architect Cristóbal Cascante i Colom while Gaudí supervised the whole process from Barcelona.

El Capricho is a relatively small three-floored building in which the layout of the rooms is adapted to fit the sloping site. Its Neo Mudejar appearance recalls Casa Vicens which Gaudí was building at the same time in Gràcia. Of particular interest is the chromatic play of the exterior, combining stone on the base with yellow and reddish brick walls and a glazed tile roof. The front entrance was sheltered by a porch with four columns whose capitals were decorated with flowers and doves, supporting a tower that resembles a Muslim minaret. The tower is clad with tiles representing green leaves and sunflowers, a motif which is repeated in bands running round the walls. The subtle decorative details with frequent allusions to music, one of the Díaz de Quijano’s passions, also stand out in the interior. For example, for the windows of the main first-floor lounge, Gaudí invented an ingenious system that produced the sound of bells when opened and closed.

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