Thursday's Child: La Pedrera, Barcelona

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Last week, I mentioned that this month I was writing about great architecture we’ve seen.  But after thinking about some of the amazing buildings we’ve been fortunate to visit, I realized I had enough in Spain to do a month’s worth. 
La Pedrera, photo courtesy of nextours.
Casa Mila was built in Barcelona in the early twentieth century by the incomparable architect, Antoni Gaudi.  Commissioned by the Mila family, it’s more commonly known as La Pedrera (The Quarry). Unsurprisingly, when it was built it was the object of criticism from those who felt its unorthodox exterior resembled a stone wall pitted with caves.  The building seems to undulate, thanks to the wave-like balconies with their delicate wrought-iron railings.

The interior of the house is astonishing.  Rooms are asymmetrical, and Gaudi completely avoided using straight lines within.  One tenant unhappily told him that not one of the irregularly shaped walls was a suitable place to put her piano.  Apparently, Gaudi suggested she take up the violin.

But it’s the roof that is really the star.  Most architects, faced with the task of installing chimneys and ventilators, would try to hide them, or at least minimize their appearance.  Not Gaudi, who turned them into fabulous sculptures. 

These tall, conical structures tower over their observers and look like alternate inukshuks.  Could they be landmarks left behind by space travelers from an ancient time?  It isn’t a stretch to believe they were left there one night by a tribe that vanished as quickly as they’d arrived.    
Next week I'll be writing about another of Gaudi's brilliant buildings!

28 comments:

LDH said...

Most unusual architecture! So interesting. What a creative man Gaudi was. Your photos open up this beautiful place in Spain!

Barbara said...

We loved Barcelona. Every place you turned, there was something wonderful to look at! And the restaurants are fabulous!

Valerie said...

What an amazingly creative mind it must take to come up with these buildings!

Carol said...

These buildings are fantastic. Stunning architecture wherever you turned, it seems!

allieksmith said...

It does seem like Spain has A LOT of architecture! All of it is BEAUTIFUL :)

Belinda said...

One of my favorite buildings!! Such wonderful beauty, isn't it?

Emily Malloy said...

Oh, how GORGEOUS!!

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

A friend of mine visited this place and I remember looking through her pictures. What an amazing building!

Amy

comfortablydomestic.com said...

I have never seen anything like that architecture. Amazing. I look forward to the next post!

jillbert said...

That all looks unreal!

Lydia K said...

My hubs and I are both fans of Gaudi, but we never went to the roof of this building, so thanks so much for the tour!

Jemi Fraser said...

Incredible!!! I love the flow and the interesting shapes and edges - these make me smile!

Ruth said...

Fabulous photos Beth! I never really cared for Gaudi's designs, although I too wandered around Barcelona to see them all! I guess it's a personal taste, like any form of art... :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Now I want to go to Barcelona . . . with my camera and tripod. And not kids.

Thanks for sharing. :D

tenaciouslyyours.com said...

I feel like chimneys are under-appreciated as far as buildings go - especially since there are so many truly ornate ones! At the U of M there's a building that has over 20 and none of them are even functional! Like, what?

Rita said...

Sear Beth I have been trying to comment and for teh past 2 week couldn't do it; but i have been reading your always interesting posts.
Rita

Julie said...

Hi, Beth! Thanks for stopping by this morning. Sorry about the no picture, I thought there was one on there. I've updated it and there is now!

What amazing buildings!

shaz said...

Those are the most incredible chimneys I've ever seen. When I saw the first photo (before reading the post), I assumed it was a three headed sculpture!

Jess said...

I can't believe I didn't get to Barcelona when I lived in Spain! I love Gaudi, so thanks for sharing all your photos :)

Deniz Bevan said...

Oh, neat! I only ever get to see Gaudi's cathedral in media, so it's nice to be treated to something different. What was the oldest part of Barcelona that you visited?

Joanne said...

One of my roommates was in Barcelona just two weeks ago! I'll have to ask her if she saw these!

Annie's Dish said...

That house is absolutely amazing! Thanks for sharing those pictures!

Beth said...

Deniz, the oldest part of Barcelona we saw was the Gothic quarter. It's a beautiful city -- I hope you make it there someday!

tinajo said...

Wonderfyl shapes, love these buildings! Thanks for posting them so I get to see a little bit more of the world! :-)

Katherines Corner said...

fabulous!!!Have a great weekend my bloggy friend. Hugs♥

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Wow, what an amazing building! I've never been to Spain...

Super post, Beth!

Reeni said...

The house is beautiful and the roof is so odd! The more I stare at the pictures the more it reminds me of different things!

Mary said...

I truly enjoyed my time in Barcelona, exploring the city, the food, and especially Gaudi's masterpieces. You've brought me back there--thank you.
:)

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