No other Architect has had such influence on a city, as Gaudi had on Barcelona. His unique organic style, inspired by nature is loosely based on the Art Nouveaux style with Moorish and Gothic influences. Unlike most architects, Gaudí rarely drew detailed plans of his work. He used three dimensional scale models, enabling him to sculpt them from his imagination. Six of Guadi’s buildings have been designated World Heritage sites, which is testament to his creativity and originality.
Completed in 1889 Casa Vicens demonstrates the Moorish influence on Gaudi’s work. The building was constructed using undressed stone and rough red bricks, and finished coloured ceramic tiles. The finish was influenced by the owner -Manual Vicens, a wealthy tile and brick manufacturer. The building is still used as a private residence, so cannot be visited by the public.
Casa Battlló is an architectural masterpiece inspired by dragons. This is most evident in the striking roof, with it’s pearlescent blue-green dragonscale tiles. Large vaulted ceilings and parabolic arches continue the dragon inspired theme throughout the interior, where Gaudi’s meticulous attention to detail is evident in every element, right down to the door handles.
Originally intended as a housing estate, Park Guell was at the time unsuccessful, with only two houses being built. Now however it is a must see for millions of tourists visiting Barcelona. Gaudi himself lived in one of the houses – although not designed by himself the house is now a museum, displaying many of his original works. In 1969 it was declared a historical artistic monument of national interest. The park itself is now a municipal garden, providing a peaceful haven in the centre of one of the worlds busiest cities.
Casa Milà, better known as La Pedrera, meaning the ‘The Quarry’), was built between 1906–1912. It is located at 92, Passeig de Gràcia in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The design was very controversial in it’s time, receiving a mixed reception from local people. Many declared the buildings undulating stone facades and wrought iron balconies a monstrosity. Now however it is one of Barcelona’s tope tourist attractions and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From an architectural perspective the building is quite innovative, including many features that even today would be considered modern, such as the underground car park, steel framed structure, with curtain walling and of course the self supported stone facade.
La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia is perhaps Barcelona’s most iconic building. Work began well over a century ago, and continues to this day. It’s planned completion date is the year 2026 – 100 years after Gaudi’s death. To some La Sagrada Familia is the pinnacle of architectural design. A building like no other on this planet, from the mind of an unrivalled genius. The building dominates Barcelona’s skyline, however up close it can be a little difficult to fully absorb the building. Unlike many other great buildings – particularly those in Rome, which are usually set in a large Piazza, there is hardly any grounds surrounding La Sagrada Familia.