Reflections on Barcelona (3)

Day 3 – Park Güill

PaAutosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbHrk Güill is in the north-west of Barcelona and can be reached using the Metro Line L3 (direction, Canyelles) alighting at Vallcarca. The route to the park is well signposted for pedestrians who are treated to a most unusual set of outdoor escalators to aid mobility to the elevated Park. The main entrance is flanked by a visitors pavilion with a mushroom chimney and a tower with a cross pointing in 6 directions. In essence, the entrance is one great puzzle full of references to the architect’s childhood (elephants in Montserrat, apparently) and piety. One could easily spend the day interpreting theAutosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH design; a good book is helpful, however. The references to nature represent a common theme with Gaudi, here illustrated by ceramic salamanders and serpents amongst others.

Park Güill is the site of a one-time walled housing project, the brainchild of the eponymous industrialist, Eusebi Güell, with Antoni Gaudi as the chief architect. The whole site has an area of 15 hectares most of which is now public parkland with a fraction of it designated as a world heritage site by the UN. We did not actually visit this area, but it is the location of his mock temple and some signature ceramic animals and seats.

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbHWith respect to houses, only 2 were completed, neither of which were designed by Gaudi, out of an anticipated 60 before the project collapsed. Gaudi himself bought and lived in the show house (left) from 1906 to 1926 (originally with his father and niece) when he moved into his workshop at the Sagrada Familia. His house is now a museum and well worth a visit. It is here were one can see into the soul of the man. His frugality can be seen in the simplicity of hisDSCF1080 living quarters – a single bed with a shrine at its foot, an exquisite non-en suite bathroom (right) and a balcony from which to observe his emerging cathedral. There is also a video featuring a commentary from one of the nuns who basically looked after him in these years. Without them, one gets the impression, he would slip completely into the alternative reality world of his imagination. Maybe that is where he was when he collided with the tram that killed him?

One feature of Gaudi’s internal decor is the way either he decorates his ceiling so that they are notAutosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbHflat, as in La Pedrera, or appear not to be flat by optical illusion (left).His wooden furniture are pieces of ergonomic art which despite that seem not to be overly comfortable. Some cushions would be a good start, but one does not get the sense that comfort was his thing (right)DSCF1069.

The park is beautiful, but busy. It is not peaceful, despite it being designed to be so. If the sheer numbers of people do not disconcert, then the non-native parrots in the palm trees will.

Advertisements

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: