Enric Sagnier i Villavecchia (Barcelona, 1858-1931) was a Catalan architect.
Although now not well known in comparison with his contemporaries Antoni Gaudí, Lluís Domènech i Montaner and Josep Puig i Cadafalch, he was responsible for a number of landmark buildings, was very prolific, and could turn his hand to many styles, including neo-Gothic, neo-Baroque and Modernista. He qualified as an architect in 1882, and one of his earliest works, together with Josep Domènech i Estapà, was the Palau de Justicia in Barcelona.
He began his professional career as an assistant to Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano: under his instructions he carried out his first work, the refurbishment of the chapel of Sant Josep in the church of Montserrat abbey (1884). His first important work was the church of Santa Engràcia de Montcada (1886), in neo-Gothic style; it was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. His first apartment building, the Casa Cuyàs, was built the same year.
He enjoyed considerable professional success from the beginning, receiving many commissions from the Church and the Catalan aristocracy. In 1886, while still in his twenties, he was commissioned, together with Josep Domènech i Estapà, to design Barcelona’s new Law Courts. Construction of this enormous project began the following year, and that same year Sagnier married Dolors Vidal-Ribas i Torrents. The couple had six children, of whom two died young and one, Josep Maria, also became an architect.
Enric Sagnier was a calm, devout man, who devoted his whole life to his career, and received many honours, such as the Barcelona City Council’s Gold Medal for having won a prize in the Council’s architecture competition three years running (1917). He was a member of the Acadèmia de Belles Arts de Sant Jordi and the Cercle Artístic de Sant Lluc, a society of Catholic artists, for which he designed the emblem. He also became a member of the Museums Board and a member of the board of the Caixa d’Estalvis de Barcelona. He was occasionally involved in politics, serving as Provincial Deputy on two occasions, representing a Catholic group allied to the Lliga Regionalista, the Centre de Defensa Social. He maintained close links with the Church, particularly the Salesians; he was appointed Diocesan architect of Barcelona, and in 1923 the Pope created him a Marquis. In his later years he worked with his son Josep Maria Sagnier i Vidal. He died in Barcelona in 1931.