Torre Enric Cera

ARCHITECT

Enric Sagnier Villavecchia

Barcelona, 1858 – 1931

His most emblematic works include the Tibidabo Expiatory Temple and the Palace of Justice.

Enric Sagnier is one of the most prolific architects as well of the Catalan Modernist style. He constructed around 450 buildings between 1881 and 1938, and over 300 are in Barcelona.

He earned his degree in architecture in 1882 and began working as an assistant to Francesc de P. Villar on the basilica of the Abbey of Montserrat.

Although he was not one of the leading architects of the Modernist movement as were Domènech or Gaudí, Enric Sagnier designed a diversity of truly unique buildings such as schools, private homes, hospitals, hotels and offices following the canons of modernism but clearly influenced by classicism.

His most emblematic works include the Tibidabo Expiatory Temple and the Palace of Justice, among others.

 

Abridged biography:

1886: Jointly commissioned with Josep Domènech Estapà to design Barcelona’s new Palace of Justice; construction lasts from the following year until 1911.

1888-1910: Casa Enric Cera, Torrijos 53-59 - Or 38-40, suburb of Gràcia.

1914: Enric Cera mansion, Vico 20-24 - Freixa 21, suburb of Sant Gervasi.

1890: Commissioned to design Barcelona’s new Customs building. He presents the initial project in 1895 and construction lasts from 1896 to 1902.

1893: Cofounds the Sant Lluc Artistic Circle with brothers Josep and Joan Llimona, Antoni Utrillo and Alexandre de Riquer, among others. Elected president in 1903.

1900: Proposed as president of the Catalan Association of Architects  but does not assume office.

1902: The house built for Emili Juncadella receives the architecture prize awarded by the Barcelona Council for buildings completed in 1901.

1902: Laying of the cornerstone of the Tibidabo Temple; construction continues until his death and is completed by his son Josep M. Sagnier in 1961.

1903: Elected provincial MP representing the Social Defence Committee.

1903-1915: Architect of the Montserrat Benedictine community.

1911: Joins Barcelona’s Sant Jordi Academy of Fine Arts.

1913: Founding member of the La Ciutat Jardí civic society.

1913: The Guillem Llibre sweet shop, located at Plaça de Catalunya, receives the Council award in the category of establishments completed in 1912.

1915: Receives the award for establishments inaugurated in 1913 for the Pere Comas tailor shop.

1916: Participates at the II National Architecture Exhibition held in Barcelona.

1918: The Child Protection Board Charity Group, located in Poblenou, receives the Barcelona Council’s annual architecture award for the 1916 convocation.

1918: Project to enlarge La Rotonda, commissioned by pharmaceutical entrepreneur Salvador Andreu. The building later becomes the Hotel Metropolitan

1920: Special achievement award for buildings completed in 1917 for the Casal de l’Estalvi, headquarters of the Caja de Pensiones savings bank. This third prize in the municipal competition included a gold medal that excluded him from the competition.

1921: Barcelona Council architecture competition award in the chalet category for two houses designed by Sagnier: the house for Ignasi Coll, located on Avinguda del Tibidabo (completed in 1918) and the Luis Rocamora chalet (completed in 1919).

1923: Pope Pius XI awards him the papal title of Marquis of Sagnier.

1924: Appointed provincial councillor of Public Works; remains in office until 1927.

1924: Member of the Barcelona Museums Board until 1926; he oversees the installation of the library.

1925: Member of the jury in charge of selecting the project for the central palace (today’s Palau Nacional) on the grounds of Barcelona’s International Exhibition.

1927: Joins Bonaventura Bassegoda as architect of the Cathedral of Barcelona.

 

Gardens:

The Sagnier gardens at Brusi 51-56 surround the Casa Sagnier civic centre, which was formerly the family’s summer holiday home. Today they are a homage to the man and the architect who was deeply admired by a part of the Barcelona bourgeoisie and criticised by many of his colleagues.