Before becoming an art collector and gallerist, Miquel Alzueta spent time wandering the streets of Paris, often finding himself drawn into small antique shops. During that time, he first encountered the works of influential French designers Jean Prouvé and Charlotte Perriand, and something clicked.
This introduction soon turned into a deep obsession and the 1950s style of functional furnishings permeated every aspect of his life. “One doesn’t choose his whims, his passions or his follies,” Miquel says. “I got there by being curious, and I turned it into a way of learning, a way of living and, later on, into a job and a business.” He started looking for Prouvé and Perriand’s pieces, buying them and offering them to customers. “Each acquisition meant a period of trouble for my finances, but I loved to collect them,” he says.
Miquel was rewarded for his risky decisions with a collection that grew into the foundation of his personal home near Barcelona’s city center, where he now lives with his wife, África Posse, and her son, Santiago. The building is located in a small suburb at the foot of Mt. Tibidabo called Pedralbes (Catalan for “white stones”), which is known for its architectural history and for having some of the most well-preserved Gothic architecture in western Europe. Miquel was originally drawn to their building because it spoke to his passion for French design. “Catalan culture has been greatly influenced by French culture, but this wasn’t often reflected on an architectural level. This building does have this influence, though, and I like that,” Miquel says. The structure was designed in the 1940s by Raimon Duran i Reynals, who respected French and neoclassical styles.
With África’s background in antique dealing and Miquel’s passion for art, they’ve filled their home with pieces from their well-developed personal collections, which are directly connected to their personal values. Miquel appreciates how these accumulated items add to the ongoing history of a household. “If the home is old, it speaks of tradition and the past. If it’s new, it talks about us,” he says. “Beyond the beauty and utility is a sign of identity that speaks of the way we understand the world.”
This is an excerpt from our latest book, The Kinfolk Home. Order your copy here.