Barcelona Photoblog: November 2011

November 22, 2011

Gaudi Chimneys: The Amazing Surreal Shapes of Catalan Art Nouveau

Amazing Chimneys on the roof of Casa Mila or La Pedrera building by Antoni Gaudi
Chimneys by Gaudi - Casa Mila aka La Pedrera's Roof

When you step into Casa Mila's rooftop, you enter a surreal realm of uncanny figures begotten in the womb of some eerie creature or conceived in the unfathomable labyrinth of a very insane but wise mind, figures that remind alien chrysalids about to eclose or deceiving chess pieces that seem to move ominously behind your back.

Apparently they are only chimneys but definitely there is something mysterious about them, as if they had been alive and were now under some spell. Some may resemble totems, others look vigilant towards the horizon like soldiers watching from the battlements of some medieval castle. Many interpretations are possible here. Whatever your appreciation is in the end, you certainly will not remain indifferent.

November 17, 2011

Dry Reeds on Delta de L'Ebre Beach, Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain

Reed root abstraction on Delta de l' Ebre beach, Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain [enlarge]

Sometimes an abstraction can be created out of the most unusual things. It is all in your head or on many occasions inside mother nature's head which is more complex and experienced. Any odd root, next to the soil where it is supposed to grow is no big deal but what if we put it upside down against a seascape? It is very common to find dry reeds along L'Illa de Buda beach, Deltebre, Tarragona but this sort of Martian scene, is in fact part of a natural park, 320 km² of wetland on the Mediterranean coast which is a paradise for birds and well known for its rice crops, its paellas and the history behind agricultural villages near Ebro river mouth.

November 08, 2011

Trencadis Detail: Z, La Pedrera, Barcelona

Trencadis detail at La Pedrera [enlarge]

Shards of tile, irregularly distributed creating harmony out of an apparent mess. Somewhere some symbols may be found left behind by the artist on the tile. This a detail of one of those chimneys on La Pedrera or Casa Mila's roof. If you want to see how trencadis looks here is an arch found on the same roof. Soon, more details.

November 02, 2011

Trencadis Butterfly at Casa Fajol next to B Hotel in Barcelona

Casa de la Papallona next to B-Hotel as shot from Las Arenas leisure center [enlarge]

How can a place evolve so much, how can you witness the pass of time by taking a glimpse at just one odd corner of your city? You can easily guess in this picture which building came first: yes, Casa Fajol also known as Casa de la Papallona (Catalan word for butterfly) dating back to 1912. Is it possible to combine historic buildings with a touristic resort and a leisure center? Well, our architects do think so, and who are we to contradict their expertise. In 2005 they built a 3 star hotel (B-Hotel), with a fantastic swimming pool overlooking Plaza Espanya and Fira de Barcelona, that our butterfly almost touches with her antennae. That must be good for our visitors, a room with a view over our culture. But why not framing the whole scene from the platform of a brand new leisure center like Las Arenas literally rising over an old bull ring to really appreciate the clash of styles? Barcelona is the perfect spot.

Disclaimer: This post is meant to bring debate over architectural topics, culture and the pass of time and is not interested whatsoever in what should have been done or who is to blame for such contrasts.
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