May 13, 2008

Architectural Soul

Barcelona. Yesterday we started the day visiting Casa Battló, one of Antoni Gaudí's masterpieces. I never thought a building could evoke so many emotions. I was mesmerized by how the ocean was used as inspiration to the building's organic lines (there are no straight lines), the use of natural lighting, a revolutionary vent system for temperature control and how Gaudí dared to use forms and textures that had never been used in architecture before.

Today we continued to fall in love with his work, visiting Casa Milà (also known as La Pedrera), Parc Güell, Sagrada Família... the legacy of an architectural genius that is part of the very soul of Barcelona.

During the guided tour of Casa Milà, we learned how Gaudi's work has a close connection to nature. The arches in the attic (seen in this picture)...

...were inspired by the bone structure of whales. The strong connection to the natural world is found in many details throughout his buildings. In one room, the ceiling resembled ripple effects, in another room, the ceiling had ondulations like wind blowing on a sand bank.

At Sagrada Família, some of the columns were designed to resemble the branches of a tree.

Gaudí once said:
"Everything comes from the great book of Nature."

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