Grandeur builds on Antoni Gaudi’s Casa Bures project in Barcelona

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Venture through the vast front door of Casa Bures 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 coloured light down on to 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, gilt walls, mosaics, marble columns, cornicing, carved panelling, and exquisite bas-relief sculpture.

Casa Bures, in the upscale Eixample neighbourhood, hasn’t been lived in (legally) since the 1980s. Now it is undergoing renovations to create 26 luxury apartments full of the modernista style pioneered by Spain’s totemic architect, Antoni Gaudi.

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