Almost Everything Guell


Park Guell at the north end of Barcelona high on a hill was Gaudi’s home until he started the project of Sagrada Familia.  One of Gaudi’s biggest fans and best patron was Eusebi Guell.  This wealthy entrepreneur who would have been richer than Bill Gates in todays dollars entrusted Gaudi with planning an estate for 60 residences on the model of British residential estates (hence the name Park Guell).  The project had many roadblocks and was abandoned for the most part by 1914.  Instead it was turned into a public park. Both Guell and Gaudi had homes there and Gaudi created an number of structures to enhance the aesthetics of the park.   To start it all Guell commissioned Gaudi to remodel at palace for his family including 10 children close to the Rambla.  This was Gaudi’s first great project.  While Guell was not really involved in this project, another that did manage to be completed has been described as a petrified wave.  It is Casa Mila (now called La Pedrera) built 1906-1912. Gaudi was a trained architect though when he graduated the dean said of him, “he’ll either be a madman or a genius.”  This reclusive master left an indelible mark on the city of Barcelona and art movements to come after him.

Gaudi's home where he lived until moving to Sagrada Familia to work full time on that project.
Gaudi’s home where he lived until moving to Sagrada Familia to work full time on that project.
Grottos and viaducts form paths throughout the park.
Grottos and viaducts form paths throughout the park.
Close to Gaudi's home you can see how much he valued the natural setting.
Close to Gaudi’s home you can see how much he valued the natural setting.
On the upper viaduct. Unfortunately it began to rain so we did not see the rest of the structures except from afar. We'll just have to return to see them close up.
On the upper viaduct. Unfortunately it began to rain so we did not see the rest of the structures except from afar. We’ll just have to return to see them close up.
The entry doors to Palau Guell, the palace of the patron of Gaudi, the most well known Moderniste architect. The palace was built in the late 1800s.
The entry doors to Palau Guell, the palace of Guell family. This was Gaudi’s first major project and you can already see the parabolas and natural elements appearing.
From inside the front gates it is possible to see out and for light to come inside but it's impossible for those outside to see in.
From inside the front gates it is possible to see out and for light to come inside but it’s impossible for those outside to see in.
Combining traditional materials and imagery with modern lines and natural imagery in the tile work.
Combining traditional materials and imagery with modern lines and natural imagery in the tile work.
Even the stables below the entry have beautiful forms though totally functional.
Even the stables below the entry have beautiful forms though totally functional.
Tethering a horse to a unicorn instead of a mere brass ring.
Tethering a horse to a unicorn instead of a mere brass ring.
Up the stairs to the living quarters.
Up the stairs to the living quarters.
Harmony between the tile patterned floor and the carpeting. It should be noted the Palau was closed from 1990-2011 for extensive renovation to restore the Palau to its former glory.
Harmony between the tile patterned floor and the carpeting. It should be noted the Palau was closed from 1990-2011 for extensive renovation to restore the Palau to its former glory.
Ceilings throughout hand carved. Gaudi oversaw many artisans of great skill.
Ceilings throughout hand carved. Gaudi oversaw many artisans of great skill.
Upper story windows facing the street
Upper story windows facing the street
Elaborate bay windows and balconies with ingenious shutters and gargoyle drains
Elaborate bay windows and balconies with ingenious shutters and gargoyle drains
More parabola shapes for the window frames.
More parabola shapes for the window frames in the bedrooms with intricate brass fitttings.
Formal dining room
Formal dining room
Hand painted chair backs
Hand painted chair backs
Detail of the wood work and the marquetry (patterns made with small thin veneers of different colors of wood) in the wainscoting.
Detail of the wood work and the marquetry (patterns made with small thin veneers of different colors of wood) in the wainscoting.
Entrance to the main hall
Entrance to the main hall
Large sconces either side of the Neo-Gothic style doors
Large sconces either side of the Neo-Gothic style doors
Looking up to the three story ceiling of the main hall where guests were greeted and entertained
Looking up to the three story ceiling of the main hall where guests were greeted and entertained. Notice the organ pipes.
The organ designed by Gaudi naturally...
The organ designed by Gaudi naturally…
One wall of the main hall had these huge doors that could be opened to reveal a small chapel where religious services could be conducted or entertainments could be had when the doors were closed.
One wall of the main hall had these huge doors that could be opened to reveal a small chapel where religious services could be conducted or entertainments could be had when the doors were closed.
Each of the four walls had paintings especially made to fit the curve of the wall.
Each of the four walls had paintings especially made to fit the curve of the wall.
Most rooms had this type of fireplace designed by Gaudi himself. Notice the parabola once again.
Most rooms had this type of fireplace designed by Gaudi himself. Notice the parabola once again.
Stained glass window with Shakespearean characters in a pre-Raphaelite style and William Morris pattern (Arts and Crafts movement).
Stained glass window with Shakespearean characters in a pre-Raphaelite style and William Morris pattern (Arts and Crafts movement).
Stained glass everywhere even in hallways wherever possible. Notice the glass casings around the columns between the windows. That's the same thing we saw in the Palau Musica Catalunya. Must have been the style of the day.
Stained glass everywhere even in hallways wherever possible. Notice the glass casings around the columns between the windows. That’s the same thing we saw in the Palau Musica Catalunya. Must have been the style of the day.
In the piano room you can see how much light comes in and behind are windows in the wall instead of a solid wall.
In the piano room you can see how much light comes in and behind are windows in the wall instead of a solid wall.
The attic where laundry and other household activities could be accomplished. Notice the undulating walls and ceiling.
The attic where laundry and other household activities could be accomplished. Notice the undulating walls and ceiling.
The hallmark chimney tops in Gaudi's fanciful style.
The hallmark chimney tops in Gaudi’s fanciful style.
This close up shows an added lizard. You saw them on the face of the Sagrada Familia as well.
This close up shows an added lizard. You saw them on the face of the Sagrada Familia as well.
This direction you can see the Agbar tower in the distance (not there in Gaudi's time)
This direction you can see the Agbar tower in the distance (not there in Gaudi’s time)
From this side the Sagrada Familia built after Palau Guell but of course Gaudi would have been aware of the sight lines.
From this side you can see both the brick structures as well as the tiled ones.
The central tower over the ceiling dome of the main hall.
The central tower over the ceiling dome of the main hall.
Casa Mila (La Pedrera) from across the wide boulevard where it is located. It is an apartment building that was either loved or reviled at the time and eventually fell into disrepair. Now a UNESCO site it has been refurbished inside and out.
Casa Mila (La Pedrera) from across the wide boulevard where it is located. It is an apartment building that was either loved or reviled at the time and eventually fell into disrepair. Now a UNESCO site it has been refurbished inside and out.
The front facade with balconies and undulating levels.
The front facade with balconies and undulating levels.
Entrance lobby, a combination of form, light, and color.
Entrance lobby, a combination of form, light, and color.
Back to Gaudi's philosophy of using natural forms, in this case a protozoa.
Back to Gaudi’s philosophy of using natural forms, in this case a protozoa.
The courtyard is open to the sky letting in natural light wherever possible. Each apartment goes all the way around one apartment per floor.
The courtyard is open to the sky letting in natural light wherever possible. Each apartment goes all the way around one apartment per floor.
On the roof ventilation and chimneys are no ordinary objects, they became symbolic and animate forms. The entire roof is an undulating mass of forms.
On the roof ventilation and chimneys are no ordinary objects, they became symbolic and animate forms. The entire roof is an undulating mass of forms.
Looking to other buildings around you can see how the mechanical objects project in a very haphazard and unappealing way that Gaudi never wanted in his projects.
Looking to other buildings around you can see how the mechanical objects project in a very haphazard and unappealing way that Gaudi never wanted in his projects.
And of course you can see Sagrada Familia from here.
And of course you can see Sagrada Familia from here.
Below the roof is the attic which gives you the inside of the undulation. It's like walking through a serpentine sculpture. Currently it houses a historical display of Gaudi projects.
Below the roof is the attic which gives you the inside of the undulation. It’s like walking through a serpentine sculpture. Currently it houses a historical display of Gaudi projects.
There is one apartment that can be visited and it has been restored to the way it would have looked at the turn of the 20th century. This bedroom window shows the inside of the iron balcony.
There is one apartment that can be visited and it has been restored to the way it would have looked at the turn of the 20th century. This bedroom window shows the inside of the iron balcony.
Many craftspeople were involved in this project but Gaudi oversaw much of the overall aesthetic.
Many craftspeople were involved in this project but Gaudi oversaw much of the overall aesthetic.
Windows on the inside bring added light in and you can see across to the rest of the apartment.
Windows on the inside bring added light in and you can see across to the rest of the apartment.

 

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