03 March 2007

Casa Milà - La Pedrera

First very important point: People still actually live in this building.
Second very important point: I love the movie The Passenger, with Jack Nicholson and directed by Michelangelo Antonioni. It, and L'auberge Espagnole, are what informed my idea of Barcelona until I actually got there.

So. Gaudí must have been an insane genius. This building is so beautiful, and in many ways very, very simple (natural forms everywhere) but it is so hard for me to wrap my head around and probably was the single most overwhelming thing of the trip.


Back in the day, I wanted to be a bathroom designer, remember?

This print was in the reproduction of the theoretical children's room. I tend to associate these (evidently they are called Chinese yo-yos or Diabolos) with travelers/spiritual seekers (cf. The Zahir by Paulo Coelho), and so it was kind of ironic to see them being used by borgeois children. I wonder what current practicioners would think or say if they saw this.

A floorplan. There's basically no 90° angle in the whole building. I still don't know how I feel about this, I really don't understand it. I mean, I don't understand the whole system, not just the lack of 90° angles.

These were to demonstrate the natural forms Gaudí was looking to for inspiration for structural support. I think it's what makes the buildings so elegant, and effectively simple, even though they're also not.

How the catenary arch works. The whole thing is so amazingly sophisticated and yet, after seeing a model like this, so simple. I think Gaudí's ultimate message is that nature is both incredibly simple and incredibly complicated at the same time, and so his buildings are a reflection of that concept and a continuation of nature into something man-made.

Interior courtyard. It was so, so colorful.

Mum and me on the roof, taken by a very nice Italian tourist.

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