Monday, April 11, 2016

Barcelona: Casa Batló, Part 2

Going up the stairwell.
The stairwell in Casa Batló is impressive and still pristine, 100 years after its creation, Gaudi covered the walls in glazed tiles of varying shades of blue, which are lighter in color at the bottom of the well and darker towards the top, creating an even distribution of light.

Stairwell, upper floor

Stairwell, lower floor

In addition, the windows are smaller towards the top, where more natural light can enter, and are larger as one moves down the stairwell. An elevator is situated in the middle of the stairwell: its fine original wooden cabin is still in use today.

Stairwell below the skylight.

In the attic, the catenary arch that Gaudi often employed.
The attic was originally designed as a service area, to use as storage and laundry rooms. And yet, the elegance of form is obvious, characterized by Gaudi's use of the catenary arch. Catenary refers to the idealized curve shape that a hanging chain assumes, as shown below. Gaudi often used an inverted form of this curve in his architecture.

In the attic: a model of the catenary arch.

The roof is shaped in the form of a dragon's back, covered with large iridescent scales. The spine that forms the ornamental top has large pieces of masonry that change colors as you walk from side to side on the roof.

Along the dragon's back.

A bulb-like cross atop the tower.

The spine of the dragon's back.

Watching you!
On the other side of the roof are four groups of curved chimneys, covered with the same type of trencadis glazed mosaics that are on the facade of the house.

Curved chimneys.
Another grouping of chimneys.

Detail of the bulbous tower

The cross atop the tower signals the four directions and the bulbous root-like shape of the tower evokes plant life, a constant inspiration in Gaudi's work. Though the tower was broken while en route for delivery, Gaudi liked the effect of the broken masonry and left it broken.

Casa Batló and Guell Park were my favorite Gaudi sites and both are must-sees when in Barcelona.

For more info and fabulous photos of Casa Batló, check out this site:   Casa Batló

For anyone going to Barcelona this month (April, 2016), there will be a special celebration on April 23rd, the feast of St. George (San Jordi) at Casa Batló and throughout Barcelona.

For more information:

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