Feb 7, 2011

Barcelona of Gaudí

Antoni Plàcid Guillem Gaudí i Cornet (25 June 1852 – 10 June 1926) was a Spanish architect who worked during the Modernisme (Art Nouveau) period but became famous for his unique and highly individualistic designs regarded as beyond the scope of Modernisme. He is sometimes referred to, in English, by the Spanish translation of his name, Antonio Gaudí.

This postcard shows the Bell Tower top of Sagrada Famillia. The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (English: Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family, Spanish: Basílica y Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia), commonly known as the Sagrada Família, is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, designed by Antoni Gaudí. Although incomplete, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in November 2010 was consecrated and proclaimed a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI. Though construction of Sagrada Familia had commenced in 1882, Gaudi took over in 1883, transforming the project with his architectural and engineering style - combining Gothic and curvilinear, Art Nouveau forms with ambitious structural columns and arches. Gaudi devoted his last years to the project and at the time of his death in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was complete. Sagrada Familia's construction progressed slowly as it relied on private donations and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War - only to resume intermittent progress in the 1950s. Construction passed the mid-point in 2010 with some of the project's greatest challenges remaining and an anticipated completion date of 2026 - the centennial of Gaudí's death.

Casa Batlló is a building restored by Antoni Gaudí and Josep Maria Jujol, built in the year 1877 and remodeled in the years 1904–1906; located at 43, Passeig de Gràcia, part of the Illa de la Discòrdia (the "Block of Discord") in the Eixample district of Barcelona. Gaudí's assistants Domènec Sugrañes i Gras , Josep Canaleta y Joan Rubió also contributed to the renovation project.
The local name for the building is Casa dels ossos (House of Bones), and indeed it does have a visceral, skeletal organic quality. It was originally designed for a middle-class family and situated in a prosperous district of Barcelona. The building looks very remarkable - like everything Gaudí designed, only identifiable as Modernisme or Art Nouveau in the broadest sense. The ground floor, in particular, is rather astonishing with tracery, irregular oval windows and flowing sculpted stone work.
It seems that the goal of the designer was to avoid straight lines completely. Much of the façade is decorated with a mosaic made of broken ceramic tiles (trencadís) that starts in shades of golden orange moving into greenish blues. The roof is arched and was likened to the back of a dragon or dinosaur. A common theory about the building is that the rounded feature to the left of centre, terminating at the top in a turret and cross, represents the lance of Saint George (patron saint of Catalonia, Gaudi's home), which has been plunged into the back of the dragon.
The third postcard shows Park Güell (Catalan: Parc Güell), which is a garden complex with architectural elements situated on the hill of el Carmel in the Gràcia district of Barcelona. It was designed by Antoni Gaudí and built in the years 1900 to 1914. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Works of Antoni Gaudí".

The forth postacrd shows a detail of the Greek Theater located at Park Güell. Park Güell is skillfully designed and composed to bring the peace and calm that one would expect from a park. The buildings flanking the entrance, though very original and remarkable with fantastically shaped roofs with unusual pinnacles, fit in well with the use of the park as pleasure gardens and seem relatively inconspicuous in the landscape when one considers the flamboyance of other buildings designed by Gaudí. [wikipedia]

1 comment:

  1. Hello from Portugal. I like your blog about postcards. Visit mine and send me postcards. Paulo http://postcardsoftheworld.blogspot.com/