While we’re all stuck at home and anxiously awaiting the chance to travel again we thought we’d take a little virtual trip to the wild world of Antoni Gaudí. His work has become synonymous with Barcelona where he has many buildings in his one-of-a-kind style. Never fitting in with any particular architectural movement he has drawn inspiration from Gothic Revival as well as Oriental styles with a strong influence from nature. So many of his designs incorporate mosaic tiles, multiple vivid colors and natural forms. Today we’ll explore Casa Batlló, a must-see building.
Originally, this was built in 1877 by Emilio Sala Cortés (one of Gaudí’s architecture professors). However, in 1903 it was purchased by Mr. Josep Batlló y Casanovas who then hired Gaudí to completely renovate the building. Giving him complete creative control he completely redid the facade of the building as well as reorganizing the interior and adding many intricate details. The house was in the Batlló family until the 1950s but after changing ownership a number of times over the next 40 years the Bernat family bought it, restored it and opened it to the public in 1995. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most visited locations in Barcelona. As we seemed to find with all of the Gaudí locations throughout the city. Book well in advance because you may miss out on exploring these truly unique buildings, we almost did!
Onto the fun of this space. As you enter you quickly climb this curvy staircase.
Kinda has an ear-like look, don’t you think? Even more noticeable in the first shot below. The second shot below is a detail of the banister at the top of the stairs. You’ll notice as we go through the space there aren’t many wider shots. This building was insanely packed with tourists, it’s impossible to get shots other than looking up in most areas. But, not all is lost because the details are pretty great!
Just past this staircase is this incredible ceiling and ceiling light. As we mentioned, he had a tendency to incorporate elements of nature into his designs. This ceiling light makes me think of a jellyfish and its tentacles.
Winding our way through the rest of the house there’s this hallway with a view of a courtyard in the center of the building. It’s surrounded by this glass that creates a very warped perspective. Kinda looks like you’re underwater with the blue tile.
Onto this arched hallway and the one wide shot devoid of people…apparently not a popular place to linger, lol. Still, great repeating patterns and curves. Both from the wider and detailed perspectives.
Just through this hallway is a staircase to the rooftop. Fascinating irregular curves in the stairs and banister.
We both failed to get any “real camera” shots of the exterior or rooftop but here’s an iPhone shot I grabbed.
You can see a bit of the gothic influence and certainly the colorful, wacky design Gaudí is known for. Stay tuned for virtual escapes while we’re stuck in quarantine.