Natural expression: Casa Mila, Barcelona, Spain, 1906-1912 Antoni Gaudi – end quote – Brief Article – Biography
antoni Gaudi counted many thinkers, writers, and artists among his influences. But no person had as much of an impact on his work as the natural world did. The Barcelona architect’s signature swooping forms and intricate application of color owe a debt to the organic phenomena he observed throughout his life.
One of the best-known examples of his singular style is Casa Mila, the Barcelona apartment building nicknamed La Pedrara (The Quarry) for its undulating stone facade. Vinelike wrought-iron curls wrap around the doors and balconies. And abstract sculptures, interpreted by passers-by as everything from fierce warriors to mythical sea creatures, top the chimneys, skylights, and ventilation shafts on the roof. Other innovations include an interior courtyard doused with sunlight and a structural frame of brick-and-stone pillars, which negates the need for load-bearing walls within the units.
Gaudi faced strong opposition from local officials as construction went on, because the building exceeded height and volume limitations. Eventually the city made allowances for Casa Mila, and today it ranks, along with Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia and Park Guell, as one of Barcelona’s biggest tourist attractions. The building now holds the offices of its current owner, the Caixa Catalunya Foundation; a cultural center run by the foundation; and private residences. For information on visiting Casa Mila, call 011.34.93.484.5900 or visit http://obrasocial.caixacatalunya.es.
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