Casa Milà better known as La Pedrera is a building designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built during the years 1905–1910, being considered officially completed in 1912. It is located at 92, Passeig de Gràcia (passeig is Catalan for promenade) in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was a controversial design at the time for the bold forms of the undulating stone facade and wrought iron decoration of the balconies and windows, designed largely by Josep Maria Jujol, who also created some of the plaster ceilings.
Architecturally it is considered an innovative work for its steel structure and curtain walls – the façade is self-supporting. Other innovative elements were the construction of underground car parking and separate lifts and stairs for the owners and their servants. In 1984, it was declared World Heritage by UNESCO. The building is made open to the public by the CatalunyaCaixa Foundation, which manages the various exhibitions and activities and visits to the interior and roof.
It was built for the married couple, Roser Segimon and Pere Milà. Roser Segimon was the wealthy widow of Josep Guardiola, an Indiano, a term applied locally to the Catalans returning from the American colonies with tremendous wealth. Her second husband, Pere Milà, was a developer who was criticized for his flamboyant lifestyle and ridiculed by the contemporary residents of Barcelona, when they joked about his love of money and opulence, wondering if he was not rather more interested in "the widow’s guardiola" (piggy bank), than in "Guardiola’s widow".
Casa Milà was a predecessor of some buildings with a similar biomorphic appearance:
- The building is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Works of Antoni Gaudí".
- Gaudi wanted the people who lived in the flats to all know each other. Therefore there were only lifts on every second floor so people had to communicate with one another on different floors.
- The 1921 Einstein Tower in Potsdam, designed by Erich Mendelsohn
- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
- Chapelle Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp, France, designed by Le Corbusier
- The Hundertwasserhaus and other works by Austrian architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser
- Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, by Frank Gehry