Some of you might be familiar with "pinxos" as a type of tapas, whereby each dish has a cocktail stick or two in the top which are counted at the end of your meal as method of payment in some restaurants. Well, alas, this is not a post about a restaurant of that name (may be tackled on another occasion!).
No, this is me thinking that there are so many cool buildings in Barcelona that often get overlooked due to the usual suspects taking all the glory. So it occurred to me that I could start a kind of mini-series of posts about buildings that are very distinctive and cool in their very own way, but don't necessarily merit a visit if you were on a whistle-stop tour of the city over some of the UNESCO masterpieces Gaudi's master hand penned.
So resisting the temptation of heading straight to wikipedia, I'll try and give you my opinion on a few places, the first of which is Casa Bartomeu Terrades i Brutau, more commonly known as the House of Spikes.
I've passed this building loads of times when my wife was pregnant with our two nippers as her doc was on that route, and I'd always found it very cool Like a downtown Disney castle with all the turrets and towers. I also don't mind admitting that I wouldn't have been surprised to learn it was a Gaudi design - given the brickwork similar to Park Güell and Palau Güell, too.
It's the design of another popular guy, though, Josep Piug i Cadafalch, and is actually three houses in one, built for Terrades' three daughters. As seems to be the norm with many of the Modernista buildings (and this is the only bit I'm quoting from an outside source) in 1905 a pamphleteer described the house as "a crime against the nation". If it looks wacky in 2010, I'm sure it must have raised a few eyebrows in 1905, but crime? me thinks not.
You could probably combine seeing this building on a sort of Modernista walk as it's visible from Diagonal/Rosello and not too far from Paseig de Gracia and also Casa Viçens, for example.
Are you coming to Barcelona soon? Check out these apartments in Barcelona as a great alternative to a hotel room. And if you're looking for a quick Barcelona guide, click the link.
UPDATE: Thanks for te comments correcting me on my terrible Catalan...here's the right spelling and photo!