July 26, 2013
A visit to Barcelona is an opportunity to experience the masterpieces of architect Antoni Gaudi, who is claimed by Barcelona as, essentially, a saint. Gaudi drew inspiration from natural forms, geometry, and craftsmanship to create stunning and delightful architecture that has become inseparable from the atmosphere of Barcelona.
Gaudi’s work is truly original, especially when looking deeper to the details, examining the geometries, and experiencing the spaces. Nothing is quite like it. You can’t help but be inspired by his work and for me, these are the reasons why.
Gaudi brought his architecture well beyond the typical decorative aesthetic of the time (Art Nouveau and Modernisme movements) by integrating strong curves and natural forms into the concept of flowing, twisting spaces.
The forms are inspired by both pure geometry and natural forms. While some are quite precise and explicit as the hexagon or hyperboloid, others are more complex combinations resulting in something of the tree-like columns of Sagrada Familia. It is really quite an experience, as I find myself straining my neck skywards to trace the branches of the columns to the ceiling and at the same time trying to make sense of this truly unique space. In the basement of Sagrada Familia you can see more of Gaudi’s working process in addition to the massive string models he used to determine the catenary curves
Gaudi designed his projects down to the last detail and every facet of the space, including furniture, flooring and even door handles to create an immersive experience. Walking through La Pedrera, it was as if I entered into the mind of Gaudi, touching, seeing his vision for the space first hand.
Gaudi was not afraid to use bright, bold colors to clad the whimsical facade of Casa Batllo, Parc Guell, or more subtly in La Pedrera. In high contrast to the streets of Barcelona, which tend to be a palette of very sophisticated yet muted colors, Gaudi’s colors are pure delight.
Be inspired! Go visit Barcelona and take it all in first hand. Part II is coming next for more practical information on visiting the buildings of Gaudi.
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