Recently a friend of mine went to Barcelona and shared his pics of Facebook. Nothing special about the except it reminded me of my own Barcelona trip not too long ago. And how being really excitable when I see pretty things, I have heaps of pics from my trip to share. And that’s of course what Sights & Spaces is for!
I travelled to Spain with the man in August 2010, and I must say Barcelona is a MUST VISIT for any architecture or interior design aficionado. The La Sagrada Familia church is definitely the most iconic and breathtaking structure in the city. But being a fan of smaller, more cosy spaces, Casa Batlló really spoke to me.
The Barcelona stop was the fifth stop during my month-long Euro trip last year, after London, Istanbul, Bodrum and Rome. And while we were still hugely appreciative that we got the chance to make a trip like that, we were absolutely exhausted by the time we got there. Rome was a historical and architectural marvel, so after 5 days of morning-to-night walking, we were all architectured out by the time we got to Barcelona.
Almost got into an argument with the bf cos I wanted so much to visit Casa Batlló, but didn’t wanna go in without him! Well I persevered and he relented, and it turned out to be one of the most memorable buildings I’ve seen so far. Sure it didn’t have the grandiose of La Sagrada Familia, but it’s quaint. Every surface teemed with personality, and at every turn, a surprise. I’m not at all surprised that the name Antoni Gaudí is still on the lips and tongues of everyone who love art, or anything quirky and out of the ordinary.
Later on I’ll share my pictures of other Gaudí buildings… because each building deserves its own post. So for now, here’s Casa Batlló.
Look at the colours and “scales” on the exterior facade of the building! It’s said that Gaudí designed it to look like the skin of a dragon. The rest of the house interior does have some hints of dragon too. Scroll down for more!
Look at the shell-like tinted glass tiles above the window! Love how dreamy it is. And none of the walls are a straight line… or even the ceiling! It’s unfortunate that I don’t have pics of that (my dinky camera not canggih or sophisticated enough). But here’s another window pic to give you an idea…
See how organically shaped it is? This window looks out to the courtyard on the first floor. But first… the room that I’m standing in? It has this dreamy seashell-shaped ceiling.
And in order to step out into the courtyard, you need to walk past these “scaly” dragon-skinned pillars.
And now into the gorgeous courtyard…
That’s me on the audio guide… which I totally recommend you getting! Just the fact that you’re here at Home@8 reading about architecture and ID tells me that you’ll love the stories behind the conception and execution of this extraordinary former-home.
Check out the mosaic details on the wall behind me and on the floor. Purdy! After the courtyard we had to climb the stairs round the airwell, because the tiny lift was for older people and those in wheelchairs. But what a sight!
Natural sunlight coursed through the 6-storey building with the airwell. Not only does it allow heat to escape the building in the hot, hot summer months (it was 34 degrees Celcius when we were there that day)… but it also made me feel like I was in an aquarium. A darker hue of blue is used on the tiles the higher it goes… and the lowest part of the airwell uses light blue tiles.
Speaking of aquarium… climbing up the stairs at other parts of the airwell, we saw this…
The glass evokes the feeling water and not reflected in this pic is the briefly seen thin wooden rails attached across the window pane that is shaped like waves.
The top most floor is the servants quarters. Again… no straight line present. And if anything, looks like the inside of a big boat… or the ribcage of a whale. Don’t you just love the organic lines? :)
And now on to my favourite part of Casa Batlló… the rooftop with its famous mosaic tiled chimneys!
Here’s a view of the rooftop, with the dragon’s back at the far end. Can you see the dragon’s spine?
Oh yes, I wouldn’t mind at all having my cup of coffee every morning from this rooftop while gazing over the Barcelona skyline!
Can you believe Casa Batlló was designed as a HOUSE? It seems weird altogether that anyone could conceive this in 1903, or even now for that matter. But such is the genius of Gaudí I guess.
More on Gaudí to come!
I’ll be sharing my pics on the inside of La Sagrada Familia soon. In the meantime, I’ll end this post with a pic of Barcelona’s famous Gaudí salamander at Park Güell. A mini version of which now sits on a console at the entrance of my home.