Born in Reus, in Catalonia, he graduated in Barcelona in 1878 and this city became the center of his activities. One important aspect is his capacity as designer.
This led him to create, in close collaboration with some of the very fine artisans of his time, all those elements making up architectural space – wrought iron, furniture, stained glass, sculptural work, mosaics, ceramics and so on – within an organic concept of decoration and with the integration of these elements into the construction process.
The sea landscape was one of his most preferred inspirations.
In his own time, Gaudi was both admired and criticised for the audacity and singularity of his innovative solutions. His fame on a world scale has become an unquestioned fact both in specialised circles and among the general public.
Gaudi’s design techniques
In Gaudi’s work, it is suitable to appreciate his point of view as painter and sculptor. For him color was light, and whether he was using pure or iridescent shades, gold or silver, aspect and tone were just as important as the quality and durability of the pigment.
All of Gaudi’s designs began life as three-dimensional models in clay or plaster that allowed him to play with materials with maximum degree of creative freedom.
La Sagrada Familia
Monumental church dedicated to the Holy Family, Gaudi’s most famous work, the finest example of his visionary genius, the worldwide symbol of Barcelona and the Cathedral of the third Millennium.
Casa Mila – 92 Paseo de Gracia Apartment block built between 1906 and 1910 in Barcelona for the Milà family. The façade is an impressive wave-like mass of rough-shipped stone. The windows and doors seem to be dug out of this stone mass and are trimmed in exquisitely crafted wrought iron work with vegetal forms on the balconies and astonishing grilles on the two street-doors. On the stepped terrace, coming as an elegant surprise are the huge stair exits of sculptured spirals and faced with broken ceramics and marble. The chimneys bring to mind knights wearing visors. All of this makes up a fantastic and futurist space. The interior marine decoration – ceilings, columns and the furniture designed by Gaudi for this house are extremely modern. The Mila apartments measured 1,323 squares meters, a really vast place. Casa Batllo – 43 Paseo de Gracia, Barcelona Apartment block totally renovated by Gaudi between 1904 and 1906 in Barcelona for the Batllo’s family. One of the architect’s most complete works, it produces an indefinable sensation of lightness in spite of the profusion of forms and motifs. At the first floor level of the undulating façade is a striking stone structure in the form of loggia supported by columns which frame fine windows decorated with stained glass. The ceramics and multi-colored glass mosaics of the upper part are interrupted by iron balconies in the form of venitian masks. Crowning the whole is a suggestive tile roof over double garrets, which evokes the back of a fantastic dragon. The first floor was decorated by Gaudi who created some of his best interior design pieces for it, a magnificent built: fireplace, plaster whirling ceilings, stained glass, wrought iron elements, wooden doors and “avant garde” furniture.
I was lucky enough to visit Barcelona back in 2009 and loved it there! Unfortunately I didn’t have enought time to visit the Gaudi Park but enjoyed the many other buildings spread around the City, including the La Sagrada Familia and Casa Mila. Here is a selection of some of my photographs ….