How to Reinvent Artwork? The Casa Batlló Example

Arts and culture have become digital and destinations must understand how these changes can be turned into opportunities to attract visitors.

Casa Battló is one of the must-visits in Barcelona - because of the history of the house but also the beauty of the entire building. Designed by Antoni Gaudí, it has been open for visitors since 2002.

Casa Battló is one of the must-visits in Barcelona - because of the history of the house but also the beauty of the entire building. Designed by Antoni Gaudí, it has been open for visitors since 2002.


Visitors from around the world come here to admire the iconic facade, designed by Gaudií and constructed in the first decade of the 20th century, as well as the equally impressive interior of the building.


In this case study, we’re highlighting how this century-old art of enormous value has been reinvented over time, most recently with the use of visual immersive media and other technologies making it even yet for today's visitors.


What is this about?


Casa Battló has been able to reinterpret their story through time, maintaining its relevance. In the past few years, we have seen great examples of promoting Gaudí’s artwork in different ways but in this most recent rendition, we see how the entire visitor experience has been transformed thanks to a layer of technology.


Living Architecture


On May 2022, there was an incredible projection on the façade of Casa Batlló, by the digital artist Refik Anadol entitled “Living Architecture”, in which Refik was able to project an AI-generated, real-time, moving-image artwork on the façade of the building.


This artwork was composed of data derived from local image banks and archives, which rippled across the surfaces of Gaudí’s building after feeding into AI algorithms.


“Living Architecture” was also displayed on public view at Rockefeller Plaza in the heart of Manhattan, extending globally the impact of this great work.



This was then auctioned as an NFT at Christie’s for 1,38 million USD, which demonstrates how innovative and unique this was. The NFT artworks were also displayed in the interior rooms, allowing this brilliant work of art to continue to live in the digital space, where people spend increasingly more time, well away from the attraction itself.


Here at the DTTT, we think this is a brilliant example of how the cultural sector today can leverage the potential of immersive technologies, combined with other developments such as the increasing interest around NFTs, to completely reinvent and transform visitor experiences. This case, in particular, also demonstrates the potential for digital experiences to not only happen at a specific location, such as Casa Batlló, but also anywhere in the world, offering the rich potential to engage visitors who might be considering this, or open to as part of a future experience.



In the Mind of Gaudí


AI allows artists to use machine learning as a basis for an unlimited world of possibilities and creations - this new era of digital arts means that every artwork and experience can be truly unique, both as a piece of art and to the individual who is experiencing it.


The Cube was another outstanding art piece designed and a perfect example of this, created by Refik Anadol with the help of AI - it presents the world’s first real 360º experience in a 6-sided LED cube.



This immersive installation uses the largest digital library in the world on Gaudí, offering visitors the opportunity to imagine entering Gaudí’s mind - seeing through his eyes something that would be impossible without recent technology developments. Again, this is an exceptional example of a transformed and truly unique interpretation of classical forms of art with digitally reinvented mediums through which to experience new contemporary art experiences.


Multi-Sensorial and Transformative


Taking a step back, there are clearly two distinct elements which make this really unique; it is multi-sensory and transformative. This combination makes this a really interesting example of how digital innovation can work to drive unique future visitor experiences, offering playfulness, individual experiences and transformative activities which stay with visitors but also attract others.


Casa Battló put significant effort into creating a magnificent multi-sensory world for the visitor’s experience. This gives VISITORS a sense of control as they are in charge of the experience that they have created for themselves, initiating and controlling actions and creating an experience which is truly individual. 


In the case of the “Living Architecture”, archive images and data combined with Barcelona-specific olfactive descriptors, to create a unique fragrance guided by AI that represents the house’s smell. 


What is noteworthy is the ability to transform art with more than 100 years of archives containing the visit of many people and turning them into new concepts, adapted to reality with the help of technology.


The projection on the façade was transformed into an NFT, sold at Christie’s, one of the world-leading art and luxury business, is an incredible example of how art can be transformed from a physical environment to a digital one, with plenty of opportunities for reinvention afterwards.

Key Takeaways

  • Arts and culture have become digital and destinations must understand how these changes can be turned into opportunities to attract visitors.

  • Businesses should look at technology as an ally when recreating experiences or products and think about how technology can create unique experiences which are individual to each visitor.

  • Sometimes it is better to focus on transforming and reinventing rather than creating new products from scratch, digital can act as an incredible enabler if we are creative and willing to take risks.
Published on:
December 2022
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