(Last Updated On: August 21, 2011)
Much of our time in Barcelona was spent visiting the architectural marvels of Antoni Gaudi, not surprising given how inextricably linked Gaudi and Barcelona are. Seven of his works are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, no small feat for an architect, let alone one whose works are only 100 years old or so. As someone who works in the trades and has an appreciation for the art form that is architecture, I found Gaudi’s work to be beautiful, interesting, and definitely the work of a genius.
In addition to the structures themselves, Gaudi also designed or built furniture for many of his projects (he was also quite skilled in carpentry, metalwork, and plaster, among other trades). Not only are all of his works visually stunning, but he was also an early adopter of ergonomic design. Notice how the end of the chair handrail curls around to fit the hand:
This is the “light well” in the central part of the house, designed to allow natural light into all parts of the house. Again paying attention to even small details, the tiles get lighter in color the farther away from the light source they are:
Finally, we toured the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s take on Roman Catholic cathedrals, and probably Barcelona’s most famous landmark, like the Empire State building to New York, or the Opera House in Sydney’s harbor. The building remains under construction, and will be for another 10-20 years.
Much of Gaudi’s models and drawings were destroyed in the Spanish Civil War, so work has continued with other artists. This facade is the work of Josep Maria Subirachs.
There is also a museum in the Sagrada Familia, which was pretty interesting as well. Gaudi rarely drew his buildings, preferring to model them in clay. But what I really found interesting was Gaudi’s exceptional ability to see in three dimensions, not to mention a whole lot of calculus. For instance, in order to visualize the forces gravity would have on his buildings, Gaudi would hang weighted chains upside down in a model of the building. In this way, he would see where the building needed to be structurally sound. It may be hard to see in this photo, but hopefully you get the general idea:
That’s about it. While there are many more works of Gaudi in Barcelona, those were the ones we visited. It was fun and interesting, but of course very touristy, and that gets old in a hurry. So we were off to the Pyrenees, and those TR’s should be coming soon.
Complete List of Honeymoon Trip Reports:
Climb of Tosa d’Alp
Five hours in Lisbon
Horta Part I
Horta Part II
Island of Faial
Island of Pico, Day 1
Portugal and The Azores Highest Point: Montanha Do Pico 7,713′
Watching Whales & Swimming with Dolphins
Pico Adegas, Gardens, and More
Island of Pico