Macaya Palace

In 1898, at the peak of Catalan Art nouveau, the industrialist Romà Macaya i Gibert commissioned Josep Puig i Cadafalch to build a noble house as his family residence. Three years later, the Casa-Palau Macaya (Macaya Mansion-House) had become reality. Since then, it has been an architectural landmark on the passeig de Sant Joan, characterised by its ochre sgraffiti, front gallery, wrought ironwork, the finishes on the windows and an austere front wall in white stucco.

In 1914, the Casa-Palau Macaya passed into the ownership of Joan Vilella i Estivill, an industrialist from Reus who, due to the damage to the building caused by the Civil War, sold it to the Caja de Pensiones, an exchange that was formalized on May 6, 1947. The financial entity refurbished the building completely and, on January 9, 1949, opened there the Institute for the Education of Deaf-mutes and the Blind.

On January 9, 1976, the Generalitat de Catalunya declared the Casa-Palau Macaya a national heritage resource. Later, it became the headquarters of the Cultural Centre of ”la Caixa” Foundation.

Under this heading, since the 1980s the Cultural Centre of the Casa-Palau Macaya has placed at the disposal of the people of Barcelona and visitors from all round the world an innovative, general programme that includes a wide range of initiatives, such as exhibitions of ancient, modern and contemporary art, music and poetry festivals, multimedia art, debates on the great questions of the moment, social, scientific and environmental conferences and educational and family workshops. The experience built up over two decades was the groundwork that allowed us to set up today’s CaixaForum centres. In the 21st century, the Casa-Palau Macaya housed the Science Museum while the CosmoCaixa installations were being completed.

On October 23, 2012, the Palau Macaya’s new refurbishment was opened. This has converted it into a centre for the advance of knowledge and intellectual reflection, as well as the standard-bearer of the commitment of ”la Caixa” Foundation to economic, social and environmental sustainability.

Today, the Centre works to encourage joint work and synergy between all entities and institutions in the field of thought, the social sciences, environmental conservation and the search for sustainability.




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