Montjuic Telecommunication Tower

DSC05786Montjuic Telecommunications Tower – Santiago Calatrava – 1992

Designed for the Olympic Games hosted by Barcelona in 1992. The tower’s main purpose was functional (to transmit television coverage of the games). Calatrava added his own sculptural style to produce a tower of both functional and aesthetic value. This eye-catching tower that has now become one of Barcelona’s landmarks can be seen from various points throughout the city. As well as being a beautiful piece of sculpture representing the Olympic Games from afar what you don’t see unless close up is it’s white base (seen at the bottom of the photo). After visiting the tower I learned that the white mosaic (trencadis) base was designed specifically to pay homage to Antoni Gaudi, one of the city’s master architects.

 

The Barcelona Pavillion

DSC05694The Barcelona Pavilion – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe- 1929

Designed by Mies van der Rohe the Barcelona Pavillion was the German entry for the 1929 international exposition in Barcelona. The structure is very in keeping with the work and style of Mies van der Rohe. The design, simple, the lines, clean and the finish, luxurious. The architect’s use of marble really adds to the beauty and elegance of the pavilion whilst keeping to his all important ethos ‘Less is more’.DSC05680DSC05732The very well known chair (pictured above) was designed by Mies van der Rohe along with furniture designer Lily Reich. It was designed especially for this exhibition and was aptly named ‘The Barcelona chair’. The chair ( although most commonly seen in black) has become an icon in 20th century furniture design.

After the exposition the pavilion was dismantled as it was only ever intended to be a temporary structure. Fortunately in 1983 the pavilion was reconstructed from original plans and photographs. It was compleated 1986.DSC05731This cantilever chair was also designed by Mies van der Rohe. It sits on the base of the pavilion providing the person who sells the entry tickets with a comfortable (and stylish) place to sit. Which is a perfect touch.

 

Day 2

Smashed it! Two days in Liverpool and I have ticked all five of the Liverpool buildings off of my list:

The Albert Dock

St Georges Hall

Tate and Lyle Sugar Silo

Liverpool Cathedral

Metropolitan Cathedral

It’s been a great day, very tiring, even my camera has gone to sleep.

The day began with a guided tour of St Georges Hall. This was the first building I saw on my way into Liverpool in the taxi from the station to hotel, it caught my eye immediately and I wanted to see it even before I realised that it was one of the buildings in the book.DSC06602A guided tour of this building is a must and the best thing I did all day!

The tour was very cheap and the tour guide was amazing. Very friendly and extremely knowledgeable.

Beautiful inside and out St Georges hall is also vey unusual. In this building you will find what used to be Liverpool’s law courts and a concert hall housed in the same building. A lack of funding for the concert hall alone meant that both buildings were housed together in order not to have to compromise on the grandeur of the buildings exterior. The interior however is a stark contrast between the old courtroom with bleak jail holding cells and the magnificent concert rooms.DSC06489DSC06499DSC06496Pictured above: the cell and the modest courtroom. A stark contrast to the photos below.DSC06541DSC06526

Annoyingly the main exhibition hall of this building was very hard to photograph today due to workers setting up for an event. Here are just some of the many stunning features in this room including the stained glass window in the first photo which depicts St. George slaying the dragon. Above you can also see some of the original tiled floor, the rest of the floor however has been covered up to protect it. The tour guide said that periodically the floor in uncovered so that people can see the room in all its glory. Our tour guide also said that this is something that they hope to do more frequently, every year as apposed to every few years. I think that will be happening this August, so that will definitely be something to come back for.DSC06550 2DSC06549 2DSC06558Just when I thought that it could not get any better we reach the concert hall and believe me when I sat that photos could never do justice to the splendour of this room.DSC06564Even the corridors in this building are lovely.

Well there we go I have started the day on a real high. I don’t think I will see anywhere as wonderful as this building for quite a while, and when I exited it had stopped raining so I was very happy.DSC06596DSC06619DSC06614Caught sight of this building whilst waiting to meet my brother.

The next stop of the day involved a taxi ride out of the city to what seemed like the middle of nowhere. Fortunately we got there and back very easily.DSC06625DSC06631The Tate and Lyle sugar silo, a little different from the last building. We Couldn’t go inside or anywhere near this one, there were definite health and safety issues for a start.

Back in the city now heading to the Liverpool Cathedral. Wow, I spotted this bullding from a mile off and instantly knew it must be the place. I am stunned by the sheer size of this bullding and was not at all surprised when my brother informed me that this is the largest cathedral in Britain.DSC06632DSC06656This building is huge, with so many different spaces.DSC06654DSC06638It even includes this lighting instillation by Tracey Emin which reads “I felt you and I know you loved me”.

I really loved this flooring in one part of the cathedral.

After looking around the vast interior space my we took a 360 degree tour of the exterior.DSC06693DSC06679My brother had to go back to uni, which after lunch left to me own devices to explore further.DSC06672

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I was lured into the gardens by this intriguing pathway that was crying out to be explored.DSC06703DSC06706

DSC06715DSC06721The entire park was fascinating. From the gravestones that lined the pathway into the park to this memorial named the ‘Huskisson memorial’ pictured above and all the memorial stones that have been laid around it.

On exploring the exterior of the building I managed to get lost in its garden, although this did give me some good photo opportunities.DSC06724DSC06751I really liked the gates to this cathedral, another great building ticked off the list.

The only building left to see was the Metropolitan cathedral.DSC06762DSC06767DSC06770Although not my particular favourite style of building it was very interesting walking around and I have bought a guide book so that I can learn more about it.

DSC06810The crypt is supposed to be one of the highlights of this building. I did not see it today as it was closed by the time That I got there, but it’s on my list for my next visit to Liverpool, which I am already planning in my head.

I ended my day at the very place I started, St George’s Hall, but this time at the back to get some pictures of the equally stunning back of the building and its surrounding areas.DSC06819DSC06843DSC06839

I loved some of the smaller details in this park as well.

Unsurprisingly (knowing me) I managed to find many buildings and details of interest on the short walk back to my hotel, it’s a good thing I was on my own, I’m sure I would have embarrassed my brother being such a tourist.

Here are some of the things I found.

Even my hotel was fabulous.

Needless to say I had a wonderful time in Liverpool. Even though I have seen all the buildings in my book there is so much more to see here and I hope that I will get the chance to come back here.

 

Day 1

Liverpool Day 1

I am staying Liverpool for a couple of days to visit my Stepbrother who is at university here. We are going to the Liverpool Philharmonic to see Beauty and the Beast live in concert, my Christmas present to him, and to myself. Whilst here I am of course planning to do some building spotting as I have never been to Liverpool.

Being dropped off at your hotel by a lovely Liverpudlian taxi driver is the perfect way to begin a trip to Liverpool. After a long train ride from Bristol and a much needed rest most of the day is gone. We have the theatre this evening so not too much time for sight seeing but we’ll do our best.

Our first early evening stop is to the Albert Dock and the surrounding area. A good way to tick one building off of the list and get some food before the show. The Albert Dock is one of the buildings from the book ”1001 Buildings you Must See Before you Die”. I have to say personally I was  more impressed by the  Liver building and other buildings that surround the Albert Dock although I think the wind and heavy rain may have influenced my opinion slightly.

Here are some of the pics I took of the buildings that I fell in love with.

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DSC06381.JPGThe Cunard Building  – Some closer pictures of this spectacularly detailed building.DSC06350DSC06408

Beautiful detailing on the side of this buildingDSC06398

DSC06412DSC06374The all important Liver Building

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DSC06348But it was this art deco gem was my personal favourite. More stunning detail coming up

DSC06357This was a truly stunning building and I was quite shocked to discover that it was only a ventilation building. (The Mersey Tunnel Ventilation Station).

When we finally got to the Royal Albert Dock time was pressing on and the weather was worsening so I don’t think these pictures do it justice and despite what I said earlier I love this area and think it would be a great place to spend time when the weather is nice.

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Just as I thought that that was it for the evening with regard to building watch the theatre looks like this!

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Full of lots of lovely Art Deco details I was pleasantly suprised once again this evening unfortunately my camera died and the photos that I took on my phone were not good so this is the only picture I have to show you of this building.

Well that really is it now. Time for the show. Can’t wait to explore Liverpool tomorrow, I have a feeling it’s gonna be good.

Antoni Gaudi

b. 25.06.1852 d.10.06.1926

Gaudi was a Catalonian born Spanish architect and is most famous for his works in Barcelona. Gaudi’s style was very distinctive and his designs were very advanced for the time using references to nature in much of his work. religion was also a key factor for Gaudi and evidence of this can be seen in his extremely detailed designs for his cathedral, the Sagrada Familia. Gaudi’s work was very influential in the Spanish ‘Modernisme’ design movement which became the Spanish equivalent to ‘Art Nouveau’.

 

Santiago Calatrava

b. 28.07.1951

Calatrava is a Spanish born architect famous for his very sculptural style.

This is the only piece of Calatrava’s work that I have been lucky enough to see

DSC05788 DSC05787Although this is the only one of Calatrava’s works that I have actually seen, I have seen many others in books and I really hope that one day I get to see some more of his work.

Frank Gehry

b. 28.02.1929

Canadian/American architect Frank Gehry is famous for his contemporary architecture and sculptural instillations that can be seen all over the world. His works include the Guggenheim in Bilbao Spain and works that I have been lucky enough to see in New York and in Sydney. Gehry has a very distinctive sculptural element to his work. It is easy to spot a Frank Gehry building in a crowd. As one of my personal favourite contemporary architects I  have only seen three of his works so far, two of which sculptural instillations so I am looking forward to seeing some more of his work.