Inside the administration building there are a considerable number of symbolist representations around the patron Paul Gil. The lobby, where much of the symbology related to the history of the hospital is collected, is a large room consisting of nine vaults – some spherical and other elliptical – covered with ceramic tiles placed in a spike and supported. on marble columns with base and capital in stone of octagonal plant and floral decoration.
The shellsof the vaults they contain a set of emblems, some with an iconographic message and others heraldic, which can be observed in other points of the modernist set. The 36 lobby shells combine eleven different symbols:
The coat of arms of Barcelona
The four Catalan bars
The coat of arms of Paris, a sailboat with three lily flowers, is the residence of Pau Gil
A lion rampant with the legend La bliss in honesty, motto of Banca Gil
An alpha letter (beginning) accompanied by the year of beginning of the construction of the building (1905)
An Omega (fine) letter accompanied by the end date (1910)
The coat of arms of the Hospital de la Santa Creu
The coat of arms of the Hospital de Sant Pau, designed by Domènech i Montaner
The Cross of Sant Jordi
The patent cross of the Cathedral of Barcelona
The patron surname, “Gil”
Two short stairs lead to the distribution corridor on the two side wings of the building. These passageways are very bright spaces with large windows that contain much of the stained glass in the building. They have vaults profusely decorated with ceramics with heraldic representations and produced by Pujol and Bausis.
On the left-hand side of the lobby is a space from which the Honorary Staircase begins, with a door leading to the basement, framed by two four- poster sculptures, depicting the orders that worked at the hospital: the Brothers of the Charity of the Holy Cross and the Hospital Sisters of the Holy Cross. Above the door, an eardrum in high relief symbolizes to Sant Martí de Tours by horse distributing the layer between the poor men. The image is inside an ogival frame with neo-Gothic floral decoration and two dragons on the shells. The whole of Pau Gargallo is dedicated to the Catalan patron saint of12th century and is similar to the interior of the door of the auditorium, dedicated in this case to Sant Jordi, the current patron saint of Catalonia.
The helical scale of honor and the columns are the work of Joaquim Solé. The steps are made of Macael marble and the door is made of embossed yellow glazed ceramic. The stone railing and drip work based on perforated flower beds that alternate Gil’s “G” and the hospital cross. The walls are two-colored, alternating the red of the brick with the white of some marble strips, like those of the steps decorated with the usual symbols: the “P”, the cross, the “G” and the bars in Barcelona.
The ladder box is covered by a ribbed vault of octagonal ribbed arches made of caramel glazed brick. The junctions of the arches are complemented by ceramic floral reliefs. The space between the arches is covered in yellow mosaic on a white background with floral motifs, designed and made by Maragliano; in fact, the vault has a quarter folded over one of the walls, leaving an inferior view of only six sides, five of equal size and a sixth that is equivalent to the other three and giving it a special asymmetry. The entire vault is supported by short columns that are born and are supported on large braces in stone, which together look like arms coming out of the wall seeking the ceiling, ending in capitals formed by the same floral ceramic pieces of the arches.
In the center of the vault is a large multi-colored octagonal stained glass window, designed by Rigalt i Granell, which is, undoubtedly, a preview of what the Palau de la Música stained glass window should look like.
At the end of the staircase, on the first floor, is a collection of embossed panels with representations of the works of mercy by Pau Gargallo.
On the first floor of the central building of the administration building, accessing from the stairs of honor, you reach a large room of 14 by 6 meters overlooking the main facade that serves as the hallway of the room of acts. It is an open space and very bright with glazed windows about 4 meters high.
The auditorium measures 14 by 10 meters and has a majestic height of 17.4 meters. It is a piece that has hardly been altered. In the middle floor there is a balcony-gallery all around, with an inscription on the railing that reads: “Lord, the benefactors and the asylum seekers of this Holy House, as on earth and in heaven, and inspire feelings of charity towards of her. Amen
The front door has a decoration, on the inside, with a tympanum sculpted by Gargallo representing Saint George and flanked by two columns with individual macers on it. The set, like the one located on the ground floor lobby, is inspired by the doorways of the Gothic palaces and churches, and is almost a replica of the door of Sant Miquel in the Mercè de Barcelona basilica.
The decoration has a profusion of ceramics and mosaics. Noteworthy are the fountains, the columns of the room and the roof with tiled floors.
The far end of the presidential table is decorated with a neo-Gothic stone structure with a base – the background of the honor table – with floral motifs and a colorful polychrome with a vivid color that simulates a curtain. Above it is a small balcony in the form of a columned gallery and finished, at the height of the first floor, with a semicircular tympanum, in which is located a large shield of Gargallo with the heraldry of the assembled hospitals, which it is flanked by two angels and topped by an elm and a hanging rat. The segments of the eardrum alternating brick and stone obtaining a multicolored decorative effect reminiscent door of St. Stephen Mosque of Cordoba.
The administration building is located just behind the main entrance and gives the official image of the complex. Its façade is the most decorated in the whole and is the tallest, as well as being topped by a tower that gives it an imposing air.
Here Domènech took the opportunity to display the use of ceramics and ornamental mosaics and a large sculptural ensemble. He took advantage of the religious nature of the institution that had to manage the hospital, to unfold an iconography that covered the different sensitivities of the historical hospitals that formed the institution, and emphasized the beneficial nature of the new hospital. His mastery of Christian symbolism and heraldry allowed him to be the author of the designs to the smallest detail.
He was soon criticized for setting up a hospital which “had more the air of residence for royalty, than for the stay of ‘poor patients’, and on the occasion of its official inauguration, Alfonso XIII himself said:’ You are the locals are paradoxical, a palace is set for your sick and a block for your king. ”
The building consists of three bodies. The central, with most of the iconography on its façade, contains the most institutional spaces and on which the clock tower stands; both sides are slightly angled relative to the central one, giving the whole of a receptive concavity, as is its main access function. The space between the street fence and the access to the building provides the distance that allows to observe the majesty of the complex and has a discreet gardening surrounding the double staircase that leads from the street to the porch of the building. In the center of the stairs and presiding over the entrance is the monument to the patron Pau Gil, a set of
The structure of the two lateral bodies is three levels and has a less sumptuous decoration than the central body, with large windows glazed at the level of the ground floor, twin windows on the first floor and trilobules on the second. In both buildings, the end facing the street is wider than the rest of the block and inside it houses noble rooms; to the east is the Cambó library and to the west is the archive room, spaces that were damaged with a “more functional” use during the 20th century and are currently being restored.
Hospital of the Holy Cross and Saint Paul
The Hospital de Sant Pau is located in a complex of buildings located in Barcelona, designed by the architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner, one of the main representatives of Catalan modernism. It was built between 1902 and 1930 in two phases: the first by Domènech himself, between 1902 and 1913, it consists of thirteen modernist buildings; the second, made by his son Pere Domènech i Roura from 1920It consists of six other buildings of moderate modernism and other later buildings. With its main building and its numerous pavilions, the Hospital de San Pablo is, together with the Pere Mata de Reus Institute (also by the same architect), one of the largest ensembles of Catalan modernist architecture.
The Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site, formerly the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, is one of the most prominent buildings of modernist architecture in Barcelona. Its author, the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, was responsible for building another of the main modernist buildings in Barcelona, the Palau de la Música. Both were declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1997, valuing their uniqueness and beauty.
The Modernist Site is the largest architectural ensemble of this style in Europe and is one of the main examples of Catalan modernism. Domènech devised a “city within the city” with pavilions surrounded by gardens and connected by a network of underground tunnels.
Thought for what would be their use, a hospital, the architect designed a constructive space and force in the Eixample, but with a rotation of 45 degrees with respect to the grid of islands designed to Ildefons Cerda. In this way, it gave the space a perfect North-South orientation, obtaining more adequate ventilation and more light hours.