[IMAGE VIA WIKIMEDIA]
For those in waiting, Gaudí graced Barcelona with some of the greatest architectural designs ever conceived up until his death in 1926. And as with so many genius types, the true extent of his achievements was not properly recognised until sometime after.
Gaudí’s oeuvre is considered to be the finest exemplar of Catalan Modernisme: a cultural movement roughly dated between 1896-1911 that embraced more ornate and decorate forms of design. More specifically our friend Wikipedia notes that ...
It is characterized by the predominance of the curve over the straight line, by rich decoration and detail, by the frequent use of vegetal and other organic motifs, the taste for asymmetry, a refined aestheticism, and the dynamic shapes.
Interestingly, Gaudí believed that differences in architecture were caused more by culture, society, politics and religion than aesthetics per se.
Gaudí was also deeply fascinated by nature, creatively capturing both environmental and human forms within his designs. In his own words ...
Originality consists of returning to the origin. Thus, originality means returning, through one's resources, to the simplicity of the early solutions.
And again ...
Everything comes from the great book of nature.
Gaudí was also an innovator par excellence, incorporating ground-breaking ventilation systems within his designs a good thirty years before they gained mainstream acceptance. Further buttressing his nature-loving credentials, Gaudí was even an early precursor to the recent wave of eco-architects—using and reusing local materials wherever possible.
So, here’s a selection of some of my favourite works. I’ve used a combination of personal photograph’s, random postcards and extracts from Gaudí: The Entire Works to try and do justice to the sheer brilliance of his designs. Casa Batlló is my personal favourite, with its nod to surrealism, and admired by a certain Salvador Dalí.
The chimneys to Palau Güell
Arches of the cloister at the Theresan College
Roof of the porter’s pavilion at Park Grüell
The Winding Bench at Park Grüell
The façade of Casa Batlló
Private staircase at Casa Batlló
The skylight at Casa Batlló
The chimney at Casa Batlló
The attic at Casa Batlló
The roof of Casa Batlló
The nativity façade of the Sagrada Familia
The columns of the Sagrada Familia
The pinnacle of the Sagrada Familia