In the city of Llinars del Valles, 40 km. from Barcelona,
stood a small house with a circular watch tower, facades of masonry
and brick, balconies adorned with forged iron, and a splendid door
of forged iron as well, all attributed to Architect Antonio Gaudi.
The house was the summer home of Sr. Damia Mateu and was known throughout
town as "La Miranda."
There is a photo of the Miranda from 1939 which
has been conserved and in which one sees the Miranda as one of the
only houses to survive the Spanish Civil War. But, in the 1960's,
due to unparalleled real-estate speculation, this magnificent house
was destroyed, making way for a new apartment block. The only parts
of the house which avoided dumpyard were the iron gates of the garden
entrance which currently stand in Park Guell, and a few pieces of
the iron grates which went along with the gate.
There is no existing document which verifies that
this work is in fact the work of Gaudi, but the builder who participated
in the said work, Josep Font i Serra, always explained to his contemporaries
how he would go to the cable car station in 1906 to pick up "Don Antonio"
(Gaudi), so that he could go check on the evolution of his works.
In the most recent International Conference of Gaudinist
Studies, celebrated in Holland, we had the chance to speak with Maria
Merce Bachs, president of the Pro-Miranda Association of Llinars de
Valles, which was established in 1996 -- with the finalization of
the compiling of all documents and elements of the Gaudi house --
with the goal of carrying out its reconstruction.