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.

 

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).

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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