Be it his architecture or his crafts (ceramics, stained glass, wrought iron and carpentry) we have really enjoyed the modernism style of Antoni Gaudi.
Thus a visit to one of his many Barcelona projects was on our A-list. We chose the Casa Batlló. This 1904 project was a commission to totally renovate the owner’s traditional house. It was intended to be a grand display of wealth. Gaudi designed everything from the structure to the furniture to the door handles. The end result is a bit like visiting a set from a Tim Burton film.
Gaudi’s passion was for natural forms. In this house his muse was water, so the shapes are inspired by marine animals, waves, flows & ripples. The facade has been likened to pebbles tossed into Monet’s waterlily painting, or a dragon.Given the balcony shapes, Casa Batllo is also variously referred to as the “house of yawns” or “house of bones.”
It was interesting to learn that Gaudi’s use of mosaics was as much for practical purposes as for aesthetics. Due to his commitment to using only natural shapes his structures, crafts and other works contain no straight lines. Accommodating the slight curves of the light well was not too complicated. However, the ornate shapes of smaller surfaces such as the so-called dragon’s back and the chimneys called for smaller pieces.
From Casa Batllo we wandered over see the progress on Guadi’s most renown work, the Basilica Sagrada Familia. Since we had toured the interior and the fascinating design museum last visit we just admired the exterior.
This architectural masterpiece is expected to be completed by 2026, the centennial of the designer’s death. Can you imagine how long it would take were it not for modern cranes and power tools?