Name  Casa Negre 
Street  Torrente de Negre 
Place  Sant Joan Despí 
Country  Spain 
Built  1926 
Designed  1915 
Type  renovation 
Photos by  R.Saariste 
Reference  Josep M.Jujol 80
J. M. Jujol by ir R. Saariste and ir V. Ligtelijn  
Description  Whilst Torre de la Creu was being built, Jujol met the lawyer Don Pere Negre. The encounter was to grow into a close friendship, and Negre proved to be one of the few intellectuals who could appreciate Jujol's work. He commissioned Jujol to renovate his house. Jujol drew his design on the back of a blue envelope, cutting along the contours of the facade, and sticking the design on a piece of white cardboard. The most striking elements are the facade with its three oriels and the asymmetrically undulating cornice line, the seven-meter staircase on the first floor and the private chapel with its oval dome at the rear. There is little cohesion in the location of the various windows, doors and oriels in Casa Negre's facade. The rolling white stucco around these openings is the unifying factor in the facade. Today the dilapidated facade abuts on an empty square, though originally it was beside a lush garden. The original plan contained a tower, as did almost every design by Jujol. Renovation work was carried out in stages, starting in 1915. One section was completed at a time, before the next stage was commenced. The central oriel (the 'tribuna') in the facade greatly resembles a carriage, supported by birds' legs. The supporting construction has typically Jujolian details. At the point where the channel beam of the oriel's floor construction locks into the columns it twists, as if it were made of wrought iron. The stone feet of the slender pillars were originally triangular seats. Additional structural 'tours de force' are found in the ceiling above the staircase. The ceiling comprises eight radial joists, each resting on one side rest on a bracket in the wall, and on the other side supporting one another, as in the well-known 'knife trick'. At the center they form an octagon, in which a gold angel is suspended - the eye of the hurricane which sweeps over the ceiling. The construction of the tapered sash windows in the 'carriage' which thrusts forward from the facade on the first floor, also deserves mention - a gem of unconventional and contrary ingenuity. House Vicente Deu I Giu on the corner of Calle Falange and Coro de Flora (now 40 Verdaguer in Sant Joan Despí) In November 1915 a very basic plan was submitted for permission to build on the corner of Calle de Sant Gabriel and Calle de Les Torres. In 1916 a second, much larger version was submitted, for a slightly different location - the corner of Calle Verdaguer and Sant Gabriel. Later, it was agreed with the clients to move the location yet again, to Calle Verdaguer 40. Little is known about the plan. Something was probably built, as the municipal authorities received a request to demolish the house in 1972. Perhaps the house at Coro de Flora was the one which was actually built in the end. Mañach (factory) The retailer of security equipment, Mañach, who had already had a shop designed for him by Jujol, asked him to build a factory for strong boxes in 1916. Jujol applied the 'sawtooth' principle for the roofs. During construction, which is generally the critical time, the roof apparently caved in, and Jujol had to adjust the structure on the spot. He put tie rods between the steel principal beams with the arched brick vaults. And in order to counteract the lateral thrust of the roof, the two end walls closing off the construction lengthwise, were given spectacular counterweights above the columns. When construction was underway, he was also decided to build offices on the narrow strip which had been intended as a courtyard. That roof is constructed in the same way as the main roof, but with smaller counterweights. The neighboring buildings meant that a continuous shed could not be built, and consequently light enters through special skylights, which are arranged like divers' helmets on the roof. Nowadays the factory building is used as an indoor playground for a school which is located on the premises.