The mark of Modernism in Gijón
Buildings became more functional, although they embraced Modernism as a stylistic theme, along with other associated trends, such as the Art Nouveau, both in their facades to the outside world and in their owners’ interior decoration. This can be seen in streets like Jovellanos, Corrida, San Bernardo, Trinidad, Cabrales, Munuza, Instituto and Moros. Most of these buildings serve to map out an architectural journey made by their authors, the five architects who worked to achieve this bourgeois expression: Bellver, Graner Prat, Marín, Manuel del Busto and García de la Cruz. We can plan our tour by following their works.
Jose Graner Prat built the house on the corner of Merced and Jovellanos at the start of the century. Very high for the times, it was designed to unite both streets aesthetically via its façade based on wave forms that break up the building’s geometric design.
Mariano Marín built in 1901 a two-storey house in Cabrales Street, in which he displayed his total identification with Art Nouveau, in addition to the considerable use of glass in buildings (along the same lines as French architects and decorators). Marín was also a devotee of the female figure and of Nature. He also designed the three-storey commercial building in Corrida Street.
Manuel del Busto conceived many of the buildings that raise the aesthetic quality of Oviedo. However, he also left part of his life’s work in its coastal rival, in the Gijón that was opening up to the world, as in Cabrales Street, where the façade conserves Modernist elements such as the medallions and the ornamental heads which lent the building both a more “Roman” and an 18th century appearance at one and the same time.
However, one of the most distinguished architects is the remarkable Miguel García de la Cruz, who became architect to Gijón City Council itself and who left a greater mark than any other. The most evident examples of his designs are the city’s old kiosks, the Casino (social club) in Paseo de Begoña and the Paquet Building (where he managed to include many of the historicist trends that dominated 19th century Spain and Europe in the field of architecture), as well as many other well-to-do houses in Gijón.
List of Modernist buildings:
1. Church of the Sacred Heart by Rubio Bellver.
2. Building on the corner of Jovellanos and La Merced by Jose Graner Prat.
3. Building at no. 16, Instituto Street by Miguel García de la Cruz.
4. Building at no. 43, Cabrales Street by Mariano Marín Magallón.
5. Building at no. 10, Concepción Arenal Street by Mariano Marín Magallón.
6. Building at no. 33, Corrida Street by Mariano Marín Magallón.
7. Building at no. 35, Corrida Street by Mariano Marín Magallón.
8. Building at no. 18, Cabrales Street by Mariano Marín Magallón.
9. Villa owned by Ladislao Menéndez, Plaza Europa, by Manuel del Busto.
10. The Former Café San Miguel, Plaza San Miguel, by Manuel del Busto.
11. Building at no. 55, San Bernardo Street by Manuel del Busto.
12. Building in Francisco Tomás y Valiente Street by Manuel del Busto.
13. Building at no. 5, Begoña Street by Manuel del Busto.
14. Building at no. 37, Instituto Street by Manuel del Busto.
15. Building at no. 3, Moros Street by Manuel del Busto.
16. Building at no. 1, Corrida Street by Miguel García de la Cruz.
17. Building at no. 8, Corrida Street by Miguel García de la Cruz.
18. Building at no. 32, Paseo de Begoña by Miguel García de la Cruz.
19. Building at no. 9, Marqués de San Esteban Avenue by Miguel García de la Cruz.