03 March 2007

Casa Batlló

More Gaudí, with some Puig i Cadafalch thrown in towards the end, because basically within one block are 3 masterpieces of Catalan Modernism. Domenèch i Montaner was the pre-Gaudí #1 Catalan architect, and he did the building on the corner of the block, but the house next to the Casa Batlló was done by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, who was a contemporary and friend of Gaudí.

Mom and I were talking at one point, she feels that most Americans have no clue about Gaudí. I argue most American's exposure to Gaudí is via the bargain book tables at Borders. This stuff is so important, as I think the Barcelona Pavilion also is -- but I don't know what the answer is. Like, who knows who van der Rohe was either? It's not like they're unknown, but it's not like they're household names, either. Is Frank Lloyd Wright more mainstream? In America, in Europe?

The Casa Batlló is not refurnished the way Casa Milà is. It really gives it a different vibe.

detail of banister

After looking back at this photo, I think that actually, the most interesting thing to note are the air vents in the lower right corner -- not the parquet floors or undulating windows, but the integrated air vents.

This blue tile was like a sea, and there was light pouring in
everywhere, which was the desired effect, but unbelievable and indescribable. The blue tiles are in the interior courtyard from top to bottom.

So here you can see the Puig i Cadafalch building right next Gaudí's Casa Batlló. It's different, but they both look back to the gothic (prosperous for the Catalans, not for Madrid) period to express the new Catalan prosperity of the late 19th century/early 20th. I love the nationalism inherent in this type of work, it makes something tangible out of something that is otherwise very abstract, and so it is inherently and purposefully symbolic. Two interior details of the Casa Amatller:

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