12 Dec 2022 /


This striking building, designed in an innovative language, almost unique in Spain, is the most complete example of secessionist architecture in Valencia. Located in Calle Cirilo Amorós, it forms part of the first Expansion district of the city, developed from 1884.

This secessionist current reached Spain via the “International Congress of Architects”, held in Madrid, in 1904, with the presence of the great Austrian architect Otto Wagner, a central figure of the discipline in his country, who departed from tradition to evolve towards increasingly advanced trends.

The Valencian project, built during 1908, was the work of the architect Vicente Ferrer Pérez and it was a commission by his father for the family residence, owing to which one of the apartments would be for the architect himself.

The International Exhibition of Modern Decorative Arts of Turin in 1902 was responsible for spreading, on a European scale, the contributions of the Austrian and Scottish schools, including that of Vienna and the Glasgow school. The influence of Mackintosh can also be appreciated in Ferrer’s work.

The influence of the Secession, for its part, is clear in the composition of the Ferrer House, a development of eight residential properties that presented, as a new building type, the grouping of the patios into just one and the positioning of the bathrooms in the chamfered corners. The architectural language is not limited to the exterior, as in the majority of Valencian buildings of that era, but is incorporated in the hall, the stairs and the apartments. The floors are covered with cement and Nolla tiles.

The façade is organized in three panels, each with its own symmetrical compositive schema, which are differentiated from each other and from the neighbouring buildings with narrow recesses. Otto Wagner also used a similar resource in the Majolica House in Vienna of 1899.

The exterior of this building is coloured in soft tones and incorporates ceramic panels, the same material used in the upper garland and in the bunches of roses decorating the chamfers.

The care for details reveals Ferrer’s interest in applied arts, which led to his becoming Secretary of the Applied Arts Section of the Association for the Advancement of Sciences. His concern for the so-called “minor arts”, present to such an extent in this building, was very much in line with the historic era in which he lived.

Photography: Cultural Valencia and Joanbanjo.