We love Girona, for us coming from the capital, it looks like a city but with all the advantages of a town, we already know by heart the basics of the city so we were looking for new things to do in Girona. This time we discovered Rafael Masó architecture and we were impressed with this architect and his work.
There are different buildings from Masó in the city of Girona such as Farmàcia Masó Puig and Casa Cots as examples but the most famous one is probably his family house, the House Masó that can be recognised from the river Onyar for being the only house painted in white.
Rafael Masó architect
He was one of the most important Catalan architects from the beginning of XX century. He was born in a very important family in Girona, intellectuals of the time that were catholic and conservative as well. He studied architecture and went with the intellectuals of the time when the modernism was born, but it wasn't his thing so he went along with the movement of Noucentism.
Masó came from a catholic and conservative family and his art is very much tight to this principles going to a classicism austere. He used traditional techniques and he was influenced by the Arts and crafts English movement and for the new German architecture.
He lived in what is known now as the Casa Masó that can be visited on the inside, the family house until 1912 when he got married. He lived in Girona and his work can be seen in the city and towns in the surrounding area.
The Masó house that is a museum and can be visited on the inside, were actually 4 separate houses that were bought in different moments in time and were united as one and only. Rafael, did the full refurbishment of the house, as well as the renovation and assembled the houses to be one with the same style and decoration so it had a common theme.
On the street level of the house, it was located the printing house where Masó's father worked, is where the Diari de Girona de avisos y noticias was written and printed. As mentioned he also designed Masó Pharmacy that was from his family, they were lawyers, printers, architects and pharmaceutics among other professions that were very important at the time.
The house is a full piece of art forged by Masó, using artisan techniques, ceramics, coloured glass and forged steel among others. You can see Sant Narcis and Santa Paula in different decorations of the house, her little sister was named Paula so it was not only a catholic symbol but also very close to the family.
The house has an impressive colonnade that overlooks the river Onyar and the colorful houses that are in each side of the river, full of light and lively place, the house Masó has a unique panoramic of the river as it is located in the corner where the river curve starts.
The furniture was designed by Masó as well and you can see that there is a pattern he always follows, round shapes in the wooden furniture to decorate. There is an impressive library cupboard that opens up and is the room right before Santiago Masó's office. The library has a rich and wide collection of books that show the interests of the house, books about politics, literature and professional books tight to the professions of the family too.
Santiago was the oldest of his brothers and he inherited the Masó family house when his parents died, his brother Rafael Masó designed his office, he was a lawyer and worked from home.
If you like architecture, Masó is a must and he is part of the history of Girona and his buildings, something different to do in Girona and discover Masó's house and style in the city.
Disclaimer: our trip to Girona/Besalú has been possible thanks to Patronat de Turisme de Girona and their partners. As always the opinion is my own.
Carrer Ballesteries, 2917004 Girona