Reus was Catalonia's second most important town at the end of the 19th century, having made most of its wealth thanks to the brandy trade. Despite it being the birthplace of Antoni Gaudí, the town contains no examples of his work. His project to renovate the Santuari de Misericòrdia was aborted and the banner he designed in collaboration with the painter Aleix Clapès and commissioned by the Associació de Reusencs Residents in Barcelona, housed in the aforementioned Santuari, was destroyed in the Civil War.
The town's real Modernista imprint was provided by Lluís Domènech i Montaner from 1897 onwards, when he was commissioned to design the Institut Pere Mata psychiatric hospital, a project initiated by Dr. Emili Briansó and backed by people like Pau Font de Rubinat. Domènech designed the hospital on a hillock outside the town, dividing it into independent pavilions separated by gardens, a direct precedent for the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, which he was to design later in Barcelona.
From that moment on, the architect entered into contact with wealthy members of Reus society who commissioned works from him. These included a house for the notary Pere Rull (1900), a combined house and shop for Joaquim Navàs (1901), a house and oil sales office for Fèlix Gasull (1911), which is an interesting Noucentista work by the architect, a funerary chapel for the Margenat family (ca. 1905), warehouses and house reforms for Joan Llopis (1911-1912), and aborted projects for the Círcul Society, such as reforms to the entrance of its main office (1899) and the Teatre Circ (1900).
The Casa Navàs is a highlight because of its exceptional design and it is one of the architect's best creations. It still retains its original furnishings inside, designed by Gaspar Homar, as well as its other decorative elements, in which artists like Lluís Brú, Eusebi Arnau and Tomàs Bergadà participated, amongst others. Lluís Domènech's relationship with Reus was prolonged by the work of his son Pere Domènech Roura, who designed the Cinema Kursaal (1909), which now no longer exists.
Pere Caselles, Reus' municipal architect from 1891 to 1930 and collaborator with Lluís Domènech on the Institut Pere Mata, was responsible for most of the city's Modernista buildings. Highlights of his private commissions include the following houses: Punyed (1900), Laguna (1904), Munné (1904), Tomàs Jordi (1909) and Grau (1910), and of his public works: the Estació Enològica (1906) and the Escoles Prat de la Riba (1908).
Reus also contains important works by two of Gaudí's followers from the town: Joan Rubió Bellver, with his Xalet Serra (1911), Casa Serra (1924) and Dispensari Antituberculós (1926), and Domènec Sugrañes Gras, with his Mas Llevat (1924), all of which illustrate the advent of Noucentista forms in the town.