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.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

b. 27.03.1886 d. 17.08.1969

Mies van der Rohe was a pioneering German architect whose work was at the forefront of the modernist design movement. Mies van der Rohe was the director of the Bauhaus school of art and design from 1930-1933. After leaving Germany he moved to America where he was able to realise his dream of building a skyscraper, something that was not possible in Germany ( in the war years under Hitler’s reign over Germany).

He became the head of an architectural school in Chicago, and continued his work in the USA.

I think every person who reads this will know something of the work of Mies van der Rohe, either by his famous Barcelona chair (commonly seen in black).

dsc05698.jpg

Or by his very famous quotes:

“God is in the detail” Mies van der Rohe

Wait for it, this one you will definitely know:

“Less is more” Mies van der Rohe

 

Sagrada Familia

DSC05566The Sagrada Familia – Antoni Gaudi – 1882 – Current Day

This wonderful building has been under construction for 136 years and is not due to be completed until 2026. The project will be completed to mark the 100 year anniversary of the Gaudi’s death.

Gaudi took over the design and building of this cathedral in 1883 and spent 43 years of his life working on it. He even moved in to his study in later years and spent the last years of his life living there, devoting his life solely to its work.

DSC05365The Nativity facade.

The detail in this building and in this facade particularly is mind blowing. The facade depicts scenes from the nativity. I have since read a lot more about this building in a book I bought called “The Basilica Of The Sagrada Familia” (the Visual Edition)  by Dosde Publishing which is very detailed and explains all elements of the building in great detail.DSC05367DSC05369DSC05372Pictures from the Cathedral’s interior belowDSC05393DSC05417DSC05421The vaults that you can see in this column enabled Gaudi to build this building without the traditional method of buttresses. These vaults provide support for the building and also an interesting interior space designed to look like a forest. You can see in this picture that the vaults divide and multiply just like tree branches.DSC05429The helmets upon the above figures (the Soldiers) remind me very much of some of the chimneys designed for the Casa Mila (a private residence designed by Gaudi), I have since read in the book about the Sagrada Familia (mentioned above) That the inspiration did in fact come from those chimneys and was also done so in homage to Gaudi.DSC05428DSC05431DSC05435These hard lined sculptures on the passion facade are very different to the shapes on the other facades. I found out in the museum that the passion facade is all about the crucifixion of Jesus. The blunt, harsh lines of all of the sculpture work on this facade was designed to depict the mourning and suffering caused by these events.DSC05559Workshop of the Sagrada Familia

DSC05445DSC05458The School building, set in the grounds of the Sagrada Familia, designed by Gaudi for local children and children of the cathedral’s workers.DSC05477DSC05479

Park Guell

DSC05313Park Guell – Antoni Gaudi – 1914

Gaudi was commissioned by his good friend Eusebi Guell to design the park and the individual residences that were due to be built here.

The land was bought by Guell and his intention was to build a community for the wealthy of Barcelona in a natural setting outside of the city. Designs for the park were based upon the idea of the English garden cities, whereby people could escape the urban city life and live in a more natural environment. 60 plots were due to be built in this parkland setting. The development was eventually stopped by Guell in 1914 for a number of reasons, largely due to Guell’s strict restrictions on the site. The main being that he would not allow public transport into the park which made the park very difficult to access, and put people off buying plots on the site. The park remained as it is today and upon Guell’s death was bought by Barcelona council and opened up as a wonderful public space that is now a UNESCO World heritage site.

DSC05232DSC05242DSC05268Some pictures taken from the park’s outskirtsdsc05344.jpgThis was the home of Eusebi Guell and was the only property already on the land when it was bought by Guell in 1885.

 

The two buildings above are the only designed by Gaudi, the porters lodge (left) and the administration building for the site (right)

 

The two buildings above are the only two are the only plots that were sold, neither were designed by Gaudi. The pink building on the left was eventually bought by Gaudi. He lived there with his niece and it is now a Gaudi museum. The house on the right was built on two of the park’s plots and it sits on the hillside on the outskirts of the park. It is privately owned and is still owned by the family that bought the original land.

 

 A few examples of the many details of this spectacular park

DSC05300DSC05292DSC05298DSC05325Perhaps the most glorious park of the park is the serpentine bench shown above and below in more detail.

 

IMG_0645