In Barcelona, Gaudí Meets Luxury

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Transforming a grand family home in Barcelona into 26 apartments involves restoring modernista details—and replacing sculpted bear paws.

Venture through the vast front door of Casa Burés and a life-size statue of a bear, sadly lacking its front paws (believed to have been stolen by looters), greets visitors at the foot of an ornately carved and cantilevered staircase.

A grand dome of stained glass covers a central atrium, throwing colored light down onto the stonework. And the first-floor entertaining rooms in what was once one of the grandest private homes in Barcelona feature a mass of frescoes, murals, gilded walls, mosaics, marble columns, cornicing, carved paneling, and exquisite bas-relief sculpture.

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