Kengo Kuma Designs Dramatic Staircase With Metal Chain Curtains in Gaudí’s Casa Batlló

Person Passing Inside Kengo Kuma Aluminum Chain Staircase in Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, Captured by Jordi Anguera

Architecture lovers will be excited to find the work of more than one master designer when they visit Barcelona’s Casa Batlló. Aside from Casa Batlló itself—which is an iconic example of Catalan Modernisme or Art Nouveau architecture designed by Antoni Gaudí—visitors will find a dramatic staircase addition designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. The architectural intervention is part of a larger design event called Casa Batlló 10D Experience that seeks to give visitors a glimpse into the mind of Gaudí.

The staircase is defined by aluminum chain curtains by Kriskadecor. Instead of focusing on Gaudí’s dramatic use of color and unusual form, Kuma chose to highlight his masterful use of light. He highlights this in the reflective qualities of the aluminum chain. The staircase is a tribute to Gaudí’s work while presenting it in a more contemporary architecture that does not seek to compete with the historic work.

Person Walking Up Kengo Kuma Aluminum Chain Staircase in Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, Captured by Jordi Anguera

“We have imagined this space dressed in aluminum link curtains which with their meticulous materiality catch the light, as if they were fishing nets, and show it to us in all its forms: brightness, silhouettes, shadows,” Kuma states. “This way, by omitting the use of any other materials, and erasing the presence of this blind box and its staircase using these chains, we are able to speak of light and light only.”

The relationship to light changes throughout the eight floors and the coal bunkers in the basement. The aluminum chains are lighter at the top and become darker as they descend through the building, becoming black as they reach the basement. Aside from creating a beautiful progression for visitors to the building, the chain curtains also serve to cleverly hide acoustic panels that limit noise.

To see Kuma’s staircase and all of the other special works included in the Casa Batlló 10D Experience, you can book a ticket on the Casa Batlló website. To hear more about the experience and the designers behind them, you can check out an exclusive interview with Refik Anadol—another designer included in the exhibit—on an episode of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast titled Media Artist Refik Anadol on His AI-Driven Artwork Redefining Space.

Kengo Kuma introduces a dramatic staircase with aluminum chain curtains in Antoni Gaudí’s famous Casa Batlló.

Inside Kengo Kuma Aluminum Chain Staircase in Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, Captured by Jordi Anguera

The intervention is part of the Casa Batlló 10D Experience.

Inside Kengo Kuma Aluminum Chain Staircase in Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, Captured by Jordi AngueraInside Kengo Kuma Aluminum Chain Staircase in Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, Captured by Jordi AngueraParallel View of Curtains in Kengo Kuma Aluminum Chain Staircase in Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, Captured by Jordi AngueraLooking Up Through Curtains in Kengo Kuma Aluminum Chain Staircase in Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, Captured by Jordi AngueraParallel View of Curtains in Kengo Kuma Aluminum Chain Staircase in Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, Captured by Jordi AngueraDetail of Kengo Kuma Aluminum Chain Staircase in Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, Captured by Jordi AngueraLooking Up At Kengo Kuma Aluminum Chain Staircase in Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, Captured by Jordi AngueraLooking Down At Kengo Kuma Aluminum Chain Staircase in Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, Captured by Jordi AngueraInside Kengo Kuma Aluminum Chain Staircase in Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, Captured by Jordi AngueraEntryway of Kengo Kuma Aluminum Chain Staircase in Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, Captured by Jordi AngueraEntryway of Kengo Kuma Aluminum Chain Staircase in Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, Captured by Jordi AngueraEntryway of Kengo Kuma Aluminum Chain Staircase in Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, Captured by Jordi AngueraDetail of Kengo Kuma Aluminum Chain Staircase in Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, Captured by Jordi AngueraDetail of Kengo Kuma Aluminum Chain Staircase in Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, Captured by Jordi AngueraDetail of Kengo Kuma Aluminum Chain Staircase in Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, Captured by Jordi Anguera

Kengo Kuma & Associates: Website | Instagram | Facebook
Kriskadecor: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | YouTube | LinkedIn
Jordi Anguera: Website | Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn
Casa Battlo: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Jordi Anguera.

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Samantha Pires

Sam Pires is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She is also a freelance architectural designer. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from NJIT and is currently earning a Master in Architecture II from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Sam has design experience at multiple renowned architecture firms such as Gensler and Bjarke Ingels Group. She believes architecture should be more accessible to everyone and uses writing to tell unexpected stories about the built environment. You can connect with her online at @sampir.fi.
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