Designed by the artist and engineer Miquel Utrillo
between 1910 and 1918, the Maricel Palace
became, from its very opening, a classic of the Noucentista style
. Currently, the complex maintains its great artistic and architectural value intact and has become one of the most emblematic
buildings in Sitges.
This monumental complex, inspired by the beauty of the ancient and modern folk art
, was commissioned by the American magnate, collector and philanthropist Charles Deering
(1852-1927), who wanted a residential building in which to house his magnificent collection of Hispanic art
. With the reform of the old Hospital de Sant Joan
and the subsequent annexation of several fishermen's houses on Carrer Fonollar, Utrillo built an exceptional ensemble which received the praise of artists and intellectuals of the time. For Joaquim Folch i Torres
, the Maricel Palace was "the fruit of the culmination of modern Catalan civilisation".
With austere lines and respecting the characteristic white colour
of the area, the exterior of the Palace has several terraces decorated with local ceramics and projecting above is the tower of Sant Miquel
. It is crowned by a series of battlements and the façade has a Gothic sculpture of the Saint which came from the bridge in Balaguer. Throughout the building there is the characteristic emblem
of the sun in red rising over the blue of the sea, the symbol of the palace designed by Utrillo himself.
Inside, the Palace is arranged around the Gold Room,
the Blue Room
, the Chapel Room
, the Ship’s Room
and the cloister
– which offers a wonderful panoramic view of the Mediterranean. Of the decoration, notable items include the sculptural elements by Pere Jou
and the murals in the entrance hall by Josep M. Sert
, inspired by the Great War. The complex is completed with various artistic elements that combine aesthetics and functionality, the work of numerous local artisans
Disagreements between Deering and Utrillo meant the end of the initial Maricel Palace
project. However, with the recent restoration of the architectural and conceptual whole and the reorganisation of the museum collection by the Maricel Museum
, this extraordinary complex has had its vocation restored as a place dedicated to the arts, heritage and culture.