Mosaics gaudi: The Best Gaudí Mosaics From Around the World | by Mozaico

The boulevard of broken tiles: Gaudí’s most known mosaics

One of most famous symbols of Barcelona’s identity, the mosaic technique used by Gaudí, like many artists in Catalan Art Nouveau, is still in vogue.


The name of this technique comes from the main feature perceived at first sight: broken tiles, plates and cups. Trencar means in Catalan ‘To break’, hence trencadís is the equivalent for ‘breakable’. The breakable pieces were originaly recycled for finishing uneven corners, and it is inspired by the the neo-mudejar style during the Arabic invasions in Spain as well as Opus tessellatum technique employed by the ancient romans.

Mosaics – Details from the Park Güell

Therefore, the trencadís mosaic –also known in France as Pique assiette– is clearly not invented by Gaudí himself. Certainly however, he and his fellow colleague Josep María Jujol together with many other modernista artists became the some of the most imaginative figures employing this peculiar art to fulfill their tridimensional fantasies.

It’s been said that the genius architect went to the ceramics factory from the company called Pujol i Bausis, and told them to literally take a handful of pieces.

The features of employing such recycling techniques are mainly to create new visual effects. Sometimes monochrome, sometimes with previously decorated ceramics

The effects achieved are staggering and diverse.

Casa Vicens: Even in his early creations, Gaudí applied the trencadís

Gaudí’s skillful application of the trencadís has become so known worldwide that most people even call it “the Gaudí Mosaic”, and is featured in many books. Among the most popular mosaics by Gaudí we would like to highlight the ones from Casa Batlló, Casa Milà and Sagrada Familia, if you are in Barcelona, you can see the three of them in just one morning.

Passeig de Gràcia, Casa Batlló and Casa Milà

Lampposts with benches, by Art Nouveau Architect P. Falqués

The trencadís became Gaudí’s best ally for his two houses in the Passeig the Gracia, Barcelona’s most glamourous boulevard of broken tiles, where even the lampposts designed by Pere Falqués have benches covered with trencadís mosaic, perfectly matching the essence of La Pedrera: this house with no structural walls, nothing but pillars in charge, has no squared shapes, no edges.

One of Gaudí’s most visited masterpieces, also placed in the Passeig de Gràcia, the house he restored a century ago for the Batlló family is with no doubt a fairytale. It lies somewhere between mythology, futurism and archeology. From the street you can see trencadís mosaics all over the façade, an architectural impressionist painting, whereas from the inside, made entirely of blue ceramic fragments a waterfall pours down through the lightwell.

Trencadís detail from Casa Batlló

The Japanese sculptor Etsuro Sotoo has been working for more than 35 years in the construction of the Sagrada Família with one question constantly popping in his mind: what would Gaudí do? No doubt the trencadís is such a resolutive technique, all pieces can be used, and Etsuro Sotoo has never doubted to apply it in the pinnacles and sculptures representing different simbologies of the Bible. Not only ceramics are being employed for the trencadís mosaics in the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, other more priced ones such as gold or Venice glass are reflecting the towers of this marvel.

Sagrada Familia: Fruits offered to the heaven

Skip the line to enjoy this artistic fantasy in total comfort with some of the best licensed guides in town; come and meet the trencadís, come and join the Gaudí Tour, and don’t let your amazement fall into pieces!

Archictecture & Art, Attractions & Monuments

 Art Nouveau, Gaudí, Modernisme

Antoni Gaudì: the godfather of mosaics

Image: My Modern Met

It’s hard to think about the history of mosaics without mentioning the name Antoni Gaudì.

Not just a renowned Spanish architect of the early 20th century, Gaudì was also a born artist. His distinctive style has long been an integral part of Barcelona’s culture and design.

The architectural genius behind the iconic Sagrada Família, Gaudì had an eye for beauty,

Throughout Barcelona, countless Gaudì mosaics can be found. Each one seems more breathtaking and imaginative than the other. Let’s learn a little more about the man and some of his outstanding designs.

The beginning…

Photo: Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

The most logical place to start as we delve into the story of the man behind the mosaics. Antoni Gaudí was born in 1852 in Catalonia on the Mediterranean coast of Spain.

The son of a coppersmith, he attended school in Barcelona, taking an early interest in architecture. He would later go on to graduate from the Provincial School of Architecture in 1978.

Gaudí’s trencar mosaic technique

Mosaic design would not be the same without Gaudí and his special technique known as ‘trencar’.

Did you know?

Trencar means ‘to break’ in Catalan

This particular technique is still used today by artists across the globe. Trencar involves creating mosaic shapes by combining broken pieces of tile from items like ceramic tiles, plates and cups. Gaudì first used this method when decorating the Fincas Güell – the estate of which belonged to the patron, Eusebi Güell.

Let’s take a look at some of Gaudì’s most famous mosaic works…

Park Güell

(Photo: Alamy Stock Photo/Jan Wlodarczyk)

Opening in 1926, the Park Güell is one of Gaudi’s most beautiful designs, full of colourful mosaics. Inside, Gaudì was able to bring his ideas of creating colourful organic shapes and displays to life.

Gaudì mosaics are on display across the park, including fountains, benches, columns, spires. Each is decorated with a kaleidoscope of bright colourful glass and ceramic mosaic tiles.

Gaudi’s enchanting Park Güell includes the fairy garden, crypt of the Colonia Güell and Güell Palace. Two of the standout pieces of the park are the fabulous multicoloured balcony and giant salamander located at the entrance.

A perfect place for a stroll, the Park Güell is a must-see for tourists visiting Baracleona. Be sure to embrace this true garden of mosaic art.

Church of Colònia Güell

Along with the Park Güell and Fincas Güell, Gaudì commissioned another piece dedicated to Güell – the Church of Colònia Güell. The church was created for workers at Güell’s textile factory, intended to blend with the workers’ homes and surrounding nature.

Crafted from basaltic stone, the church displays segments of colourful mosaic patterns. Much like Gaudì’s iconic Sagrada Familia, it showcases a wonderful contrast of natural materials and colours.

El Capricho de Gaudí

El Chaprico was one of the few artworks Gaudì commissioned outside of his native Barcelona. Gaudì experimented with art styles inspired by the Orient early in his career. He designed this particular building for Máximo Díaz de Quijano, which was used as a summer home.

The colour scheme of this design differs to that of Gaudì’s more traditional works. The name ‘el chaprico’ comes from the freestyle music from that period. Gaudì chose to decorate the home with joyful colours (red and green) choosing sunflowers as the villa’s main motif.

One thing is for sure, Barcelona wouldn’t be the same without the genius of Antoni Gaudì. So if you’re ever visiting the fabled Catalan city, be sure to check out these wonderful Gaudì mosaics!

Antoni Gaudí Mosaic: From Waste to Art

Antoni Gaudí Mosaic is famous by the name “trencadis”. Its essence lies in decorating the surface with various fragments of ceramics (ceramic tiles, dishes, tiles) and glass of different colors, sizes and relief.

Antonio Gaudí’s mosaics are usually used in various architectural objects (for decorating facades, parks, gardens, bridges, benches, logos, as well as interiors). Mosaic technology can be used in art (when creating figurines and sculptures). Antonio Gaudí’s design has the advantage of preserving the surface of the project for years to come.

How Antoni Gaudí’s mosaic came to be

The author of the Trencadis mosaic (catal. Trencat – “broken”) is the world-famous architectural genius Antoni Gaudí. The first facility to use this technology was Parc Güell. A feature of Catalan Art Nouveau in architecture is the rejection of the use of straight lines, which Antonio Gaudí adhered to. Mosaics made it possible to decorate the wavy surfaces used in the projects. Fragments of ceramics, which differed in color and size (but did not exceed 25 cm), were connected to each other using a cement mortar of lime, sand and water, embodying the idea of ​​a mosaic.

Mosaic allowed Antonio Gaudí to realize his creative imagination in a new form. As a result, striking color schemes were created. Mosaics by Antonio Gaudi are great for non-trivial decorations due to the fact that ceramic fragments have their own patterns. The mosaic created combinations of incredible beauty that made it possible to highlight the projects of Antoni Gaudí. He liked to work with shards of rose water bottles, as they can create a delicate blue hue that adds extra value to the mosaic.

“Colors used in architecture should be bright, logical and rich.” Antonio Gaudi

Art recycling by Antonio Gaudi

The mosaic is notable for the history of architecture because it is one of the best examples of art recycling. Antoni Gaudí searched for the source material for jewelry at one of the best ceramics factories in Catalonia, Pujol i Bausis. The architect also visited tableware manufactories to select unwanted cups, plates, vases, etc. Antonio Gaudi involved workers in the search for material for the mosaic, instructing them to pick up old dishes, tiles and bottles on the street.

In Antoni Gaudí’s cult projects one can find the use of mosaics, unusual for that time. For example, in Parc Güell, upside down coffee cups are used to decorate the mushroom-topped roof of one of the “gingerbread houses”. Mosaics by Antoni Gaudí, using glass fragments and bottle necks, are used in the design of one of the chimneys of the Casa Mila.

Mosaic by Antonio Gaudí

Antonio Gaudí gave mosaics a special role in decorating architectural objects, giving them a symbolic meaning. Barcelona residents claim that the overturned coffee cups symbolized Antoni Gaudí’s abstention from coffee.

Mosaic by Antoni Gaudí: Park Güell

Founders of the “trencadis”

Josep Maria Jujol

Josep Maria Jujol, one of Antoni Gaudí’s students, made a great contribution to the creation of decorative mosaics. He assisted in the creation of such architectural projects as Casa Batlló and Casa Mila, as well as Parc Güell. His task was to create an abstract and surreal collage on a long curved bench in the shape of a sea serpent.

Park Güell Curved Bench

Antoni Gaudí’s mosaic has become an important architectural element for artists working in the direction of Catalan Art Nouveau. The natural organicity and natural beauty of the objects were perfectly complemented with the help of mosaics. It was used to decorate facades and sculptures, to create benches and fountains. In especially refined projects, Antonio Gaudí’s mosaics were used to decorate residential premises.

Santiago Calatrava

Postmodernist architect Santiago Calatrava has great respect for the creative heritage of Antonio Gaudí and also uses mosaics in his projects. The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia and the Opera Auditorio de Tenerife in the Canary Islands are the best proof of this.

City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia

Nevertheless, architects have fundamental differences in the implementation of the idea. Antoni Gaudí used the brightest colors, creating original shades. His mosaic is necessary for the embodiment of symbolism and carries a certain meaning that complements the composition. Mosaics by Antonio Gaudí are a true work of art.

Calatrava uses white mosaics to clad buildings, sometimes using cobalt. This gives architectural objects monumentality, and the facade – organicity with the environment. The mosaic in his performance cannot be considered as an object of art, unlike the work of Antoni Gaudí. The Trencadis by Santiago Calatrava is hard to spot from a distance, but the mosaic looks fantastic in the evening light.

Mosaic by Antoni Gaudí in our time

Today Antoni Gaudí’s mosaics are used to make decorative tiles for interiors. As a rule, drawings and photographs of mosaics are applied to standard tiles, the technology is also used for 3D tiles. The Latina Ceramica factory from Spain offers a colorful collection of floor decor and 3D wall panels “Gaudi”.

Mosaic by Antonio Gaudí, which is more like the original idea, used by Trencadis Innovación S.L. She focused on releasing the trencadice mosaic, pre-cut into fragments, distributing her product around the world. The company creates Antonio Gaudí mosaics in monochrome and speckled designs, as well as with gradation. Customers can offer individual sketches of Antonio Gaudi’s mosaics.

“Trencadis” is a common option for decorating interior items (pots, vases, countertops, picture frames), used for souvenirs. In the famous El Born quarter, you can find the Mosaiccos de Barcelona workshop (Corders, 11). Designers inspired by the work of Antonio Gaudí create decorative objects of any size with their own hands, using ceramics, Tiffany glass, Venetian smalt. Here, Antonio Gaudi’s mosaic is available for everyone to familiarize themselves in the format of courses. The shop-workshop has its own Facebook group, where you can explore the work of Antoni Gaudí’s mosaic students from all over the world (facebook. com/Mosaiccos).

“Mosaiccos de Barcelona” (Corders, 11)

Barcino, founded in Barcelona in 1998, uses Antonio Gaudi’s mosaics to create sculptures and figurines. Their products are quite popular, souvenirs and gifts can be purchased in online stores and in Russia.
The works of Antonio Gaudí became an important milestone for the development of architectural thought.

The mosaic made it possible to look at the decorations of objects from a different angle. Now the production is established, which creates elegant and high-quality solutions. One way or another, it seems that in order to reproduce the original idea of ​​​​Antoni Gaudi, you need to use the “waste” of ceramics in bright colors and shades. After that, collect the final picture with great attention to detail and gradually embody the creative idea. Antonio Gaudí always treated the details of the project with great trepidation.

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Trencadis – mosaic by Antoni Gaudí

The World of Antoni Gaudí
02 March 2021

Mosaic by Antonio Gaudí – trencadis

Today we will talk about trencadis – mosaic Antoni Gaudí . If
stroll through the souvenir shops of Barcelona, ​​in any of them a huge number of souvenirs will immediately catch your eye, as if covered with small pieces of bright colored mosaic.

Souvenirs in this style dominate, they are everywhere, forming, in the end, among tourists the idea that this is the corporate identity of Barcelona. Yes, it is, and
the name of this style or technique is “trencadis”.

Trencadis (from the Catalan verb trencar, which translates to “break”) – facing curvilinear (convex-concave), surfaces with fragments of polychrome (less often
monochrome) mosaics of irregular shape.

The source of facing material is most often ceramic tiles and colored glass, although, in theory, they can be anything – from broken dishes to broken dolls or empty bottles from

The pre-prepared (that is, broken into fragments) material is fixed on the surface of any configuration with the help of a cement mortar, forming bright, conceived and embossed, in
depending on the thickness of the facing material, patterns of truly rare beauty.

And the inventor and ideological father of the “trencadis” technique is, as you must have guessed, none other than Antonio Gaudi – the most unusual architect who has ever lived in the world.

Otherwise, it seems, it could not be. Recall the architect’s statement that “nature does not tolerate monochrome.”

Let us recall his conscious departure from straight lines and flat surfaces, which he considered unusual for the same nature, towards complex three-dimensional structures of a very intricate shape; remember
finally, a huge number of ceramics manufacturers in the same Barcelona and its environs – and the puzzle will form into a complete and final picture.

But if Gaudi invented the technique itself, then one of his closest assistants, Josep Maria Jujol, was involved in bringing it to life in the projects of the architect, thanks to whose talent many works
Gaudi took their final and unique appearance.

For the first time, the “trencadis” technique was used in the construction of entrance pavilions of the Güell estate – an early work
Gaudi, when everything was just beginning.

Trencadiz – Pavilions of the Güell Estate

The experience continued with the construction of Palace Güell , where 14 of the 20 chimneys were lined with
this technique:

And Park Güell is a real feast of style, where Gaudí’s trencadis in the embodiment of Jujol
present everywhere:

Plafond of the Hundred Columns in the Park GüellPark Güell. Gatekeeper’s housePark Güell. Hall of the Hundred Columns, Park Güell. Bench at Priroda Square

By the way, the photo of the snake bench in Park Güell is unique – you can see snow (!) – snow in Barcelona, ​​which happens very infrequently, about once every 50 years. Something of surprise
for us and our tourists it was to get into such an exclusive situation for Barcelona!

Snake Bench – Place de la Nature in Parc Güell

And here is another unique situation – squally rain that has just fallen on the same square. In passing, I note that Barcelona is famous for its huge amount of sunshine.
days a year – there are 320-330 of them – but sometimes it happens!

But back to trencadis – I emphasize once again that the starting material for cladding surfaces in this technique was most often the waste of the ceramic industry, or even
all sorts of rubbish, like the same broken dishes or empty bottles, which was taken to the construction site of the same Park Güell, went into action and turned into a real work of art.

In other words, we are talking about art from waste, about the same “recycling art” , which is now only talked about, considering it as “the direction of the global environmental

But if the term “recycling art” appeared and became popular relatively recently, then the phenomenon itself, as we see, already existed in the 19th century – and was born thanks to Antonio Gaudi.

Crucifer, veneered in the technique of “trencadice”. Torre Bellesguard

And this is what a massive crucifer looks like, crowning another Gaudí work: Torre

House Mila (La Pedrera) – Rooftop

Well, and, of course – where without the famous “Pedrera” – Mila’s house? The staircase exit, as we can see, is lined with trencadis mosaics.

And for lining the chimneys on the same roof, fragments of champagne bottles were used, more precisely, cava – we are in Catalonia – previously, as they say, used here.

Sagrada Familia. Trencadis pinnacles

As you can see, the construction of Holy Temple

Roof of Batllo’s houseFacade of Batllo’s house

And House Batllo , one of the most interesting projects of Gaudí, is also famous for its widespread use.