Architecture of Barcelona
Gaudí's work is admired by architects around the World as being one of the most unique and distinctive architectural styles.
His work has greatly influenced the face of Barcelona architecture and you will see stunning examples of Gaudí's work all around the city centre. Antoni Gaudí was born in Reus in 1852 and received his Architectural degree in 1878.
From the early beginnings his designs were radically different from those of his contemporaries. Gaudí was not so much influenced by other architect's ideas but more by forms of nature.
You will see that most of Gaudí's constructions have an organic look to them. This basic concept of using nature as the primary influences for his creativity is reflected in the use of the natural curved construction stones, twisted iron sculptures, and organic-like shapes - all of which are characteristic traits of Gaudí's architecture.
Gaudí adorned many of his buildings with coloured tiles arranged in mosaic patterns. This adds another important dimension to his buildings which is so often overlooked by architects - the use of colour.
If you look at the Façade of Casa Batlló for instance you will see that the balconies look like sculls and the supports on the windows look like bones. The multicoloured tiles that are used to decorate the walls of Casa Batlló were taken from the colours of natural corals.
The combination of original design, interesting shaped stonework, and vibrant colours in Gaudí's work give the viewer a truly breathtaking visual experience.
To give you an outline of Gaudí's style, here's a look at a few of his most celebrated works.
Park Güell was commissioned by Eusebi Güell who wanted to create a stylish park for Barcelona aristocracy.
The park contains amazing stone structures (see below), stunning tiling and fascinating buildings. You can see from this picture the Gaudí dragon fountain that is at the entrance to Güell park. This dragon is adorned in beautiful coloured tiling and there is something rather hypnotic and magical about it.
Here you can see a walkway supported by twisting rock pillars that seem to be growing out of the ground like tree trunks. Although these are rather irregular in shape they do feel strangely natural too.
Gaudí was strongly influenced by natural shapes and used them in his work.
At the top of Güell park is a terraced area where you get a wonderful view of the park and of Barcelona City. Here you will find multi-coloured tiled mosaic seats as shown in this picture. The vibrant colours of the tiles are truly breathtaking.
Park Güell also has a small house in the park which Gaudí lived in at one stage. The house has now been converted into a museum and contains interesting furniture also designed by Gaudí.
Casa Batlló is one of the two great buildings designed by Antoni Gaudí on Passeig de Gràcia, the other being La Pedrera.
From the outside the façade of Casa Batlló looks like it has been made from skulls and bones. The "Skulls" are in fact balconies and the "bones" are supporting pillars.
Gaudí used colours and shapes found in marine life as inspiration for his creativity in this building e.g. the colours chosen for the façade are those found in natural coral.
The building was designed by Gaudí for Josep Batlló, a wealthy aristocrat, as an upmarket home. Señor Batlló lived in the lower two floors with his family and the upper floors were rented out as apartments.
This building is a stunningly original work and well worth the visit. If you decide to take a look around inside you will learn how much attention to detail Gaudí spent on his designs thinking about such things as varying window size depending on how high the window is from the top of the building. In this way he could ensure uniform lighting conditions in each room of the house. The audio tour that comes with the entrance ticket gives you fascinating insights into Gaudí and his influences when designing this house.
To read more and get some helpful travel tips for your next trip to Barcelona visit The Barcelona Tourist Guide.