Gaudi’s Barcelona

Can anyone imagine Barcelona without Gaudi? Sagrada Família, Park Güell, Casa Batlló and Casa Milá will be inexistent. These building are the icons that define the Catalan skyline in Barcelona, thanks to Antoni Gaudí.

Antoni Gaudí was nicknamed “God’s architect” because his style of architecture is sometimes intertwined with his faith and nature. As one of the leading proponent of Modernesmí, an architectural style that flourished in Spain especially in Barcelona at the end of 19th century, he has the prestige to designed the most visited monument in Spain, the Sagada Familia. Prior to his fame, Gaudi was either described as a genius or a mad man. The former director of the School of Architecture famously declared this words when Gaudí completed his studies: “I do not know if we have awarded this degree to a madman or to a genius; only time will tell.”

Imagine a house that looks like a dragon, a terrace that looks like a Venetian mask, and an interior that looks like an aquarium. That’s Casa Battló, Gaudi’s design which he really accomplished.
Bizarre and beautiful. This massive cathedral that dwarfed other structures surrounding it is an icon. I initially wanted to see this building just as an unfinished masterpiece because it looks beautiful even without the colors but after looking at its magnificence I became excited of its final outcome.
This natural play of lights from the stained glass of Sagrada Família would require a genius to be fulfilled, I have never seen such a surreal man-made spectacle like this.

For many, he had a stroke of a genius. The way he designed his masterpiece, the Sagada Família, the way he thanked about the interplay of lighting and the color derived from the stained glass, to the ventilation and form resembling that of nature, his designs are unmatched by any other artist or architect in his generation. The way he animated Casa Batlló and storify archeticture will also require ingenuity. Gaudí also pioneered recycling, with his technique called trencadís, wherein he used waste tiles to create numerous masterpieces, that was unthinkable in his era.

Truly, when you visit Barcelona and got a taste of Gaudí you will be wanting more. Unfortunately, the story of Gaudí like most icons and artist was not a fairytale. In 1926, he was hit by a tram while making his way to Sagada Família, he was not initially recognised and was probably not given the  best care until a priest who visited the hospital recognised that it was the most celebrated architect lying on bed. Two days later, he died with an unfinished masterpiece.

Today, the works of Antoni Gaudí stands as an icon of one of the most beautiful city and country in Europe. Gaudí had a sad death, but his works immortalised him.


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