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Gaudi’s Architectural Legacy: Inside the Fairytale Buildings that Made Barcelona an Artistic Powerhouse

  People are usually accustomed to using the characteristics of the natural environment to describe a city, such as the foggy city and the ice city. People rarely use personal names to summarize the city’s style. However, Barcelona is called “Gaudi’s City” by many people. This famous Spanish city is dotted with famous buildings, from the ingenious La Pedrera and Casa Batlló to the ingenious Park Guell and Sagrada Familia. Almost all buildings with world-renowned reputation were created by legendary Spanish architects. ——The hand of Antonio Gaudí. His fairy-tale buildings create a unique atmosphere in Barcelona.
  Some people say that no visit to Barcelona is complete without seeing Gaudí’s architecture. Others say that to understand Spanish art, you must go to Barcelona; to understand the artistic Barcelona, ​​you must understand Gaudí. Recently, I came to Barcelona and admired many precious works left by this architectural genius up close and felt the infinite charm exuded by the architecture.
  Gaudí was born in June 1852 in a family of coppersmiths in Reus, a small town in Catalonia, Spain. When he was young, he had a keen sense of space and was good at thinking about the laws and mysteries hidden in space, which laid a solid foundation for determining the three-dimensional structure in architectural space in the future. When Gaudí was a child, he was physically weak and did not like to play with other children in the hustle and bustle. He was more accustomed to quietly observing the nature and everything around him through his own perspective, which also honed his mind and character.
  At that time, the King of Spain recruited architects to renovate buildings everywhere. Affected by this, Gaudi entered the School of Architecture in Barcelona to study. The young man with a strong thirst for knowledge absorbed the nutrients in the professional field and integrated the expertise of the previous masters of architecture in his studies. His design concepts were so advanced that when the principal awarded him his graduation certificate, he said: “I really don’t know if my certificate was given to a madman or a genius.” After entering the
  workplace, Gaudí designed many amazing things. Among the amazing buildings, 17 are listed as national cultural relics by Spain and 7 are listed as world cultural heritage. Some people say that Gaudi’s buildings are masterpieces that make people’s eyes light up as soon as they see them. Gaudi has a famous saying: “Straight lines belong to humans, but curves belong to God.” Therefore, it is difficult to see regular squares in his architectural designs. He replaced straight lines with a large number of regular curved surfaces, making full use of bold imagination. , uninhibited design, and magnificent shapes have repeatedly created novel buildings that surprise people, leaving unparalleled visual feasts for future generations.
  Casa Batlló is one of Gaudí’s masterpieces. It is world-famous for its novel shape and is one of the classics in the history of architectural design. This apartment in Barcelona has 6 floors. Gaudí used a large amount of stone as building materials in his design. The exterior walls of the building are decorated with blue and green ceramics. The unique color combination is better than the palette in the hands of a painter. Someone once compared this exterior wall to “a tranquil lake.” The broken porcelain is laid together and reflects the sunlight, making it look like a sparkling colorful lake or glowing dragon scales. The doors, windows, roof, and rooftop of Casa Batlló are all big wavy curves, and the lines on the floor and ceiling are also very rounded. The roof ridge is like the back of an animal with scales, and the roof is like the back of a fish covered with scales. The balconies on the exterior walls The design is also very distinctive, like a masquerade mask and a big open mouth. This building is also known as the “Yawn House”. Once completed, Casa Batlló attracted attention. Its novel design ideas and colorful use of colors far surpassed the architectural concepts of the time. After visiting Casa Batlló, local wealthy man Mira admired it very much and invited Gaudí to design a Casa Milà for him and his wife a few blocks away from Casa Batlló, hoping to build an unparalleled building. The residence demonstrates its status.
  Construction of La Pedrera began in 1906, when Gaudí was 54 years old. The construction of the residence took 6 years to be completed. One of the design features of La Pedrera is that the weight of the building is entirely borne by the columns. Neither the interior nor exterior walls are load-bearing, and the interior can be modified at will. The mechanical structure of Gaudí’s design was carefully considered, and the appearance of La Pedrera is also outstanding. The exterior walls made of white stone, the balcony railings made of twisted iron bars and iron plates, the large windows, the staggered roofs, and the wavy appearance all fully reflect Gaudi’s unique style. The internal design of the oval patio in the building, as well as the consideration that each household can have double-sided lighting, with light coming in from the lighting atrium and the street outside, also enhance the practical function of this building. Despite this, Mira and his wife were not satisfied with this new home and felt that it did not show the restraint and elegance of the aristocracy. However, La Pedrera is fortunate enough to survive to this day and is now one of the 10 most visited tourist attractions in Barcelona.

  Barcelona’s Park Guell is another Gaudí masterpiece. Compared with the first two private buildings, it appears to be more grand. The park was originally a high-end residential area commissioned by the wealthy businessman Guell to design by Gaudí. It was planned to build dozens of garden houses, but it came to nothing. Only part of the entire community was realized. It is said that this is because the houses are built on the hills and the residents living here commute to get off work. Commuting is inconvenient. Park Guell was opened to visitors in 1922. It fully reflects Gaudí’s outstanding imagination and creativity. The park is marked by buildings such as the Candy House, Chameleon Stairs, Hundred-Column Hall, and Natural Square at the entrance. The small bridges, roads, and benches there are winding and winding, creating a fairy tale-like artistic conception and becoming a must-visit attraction for tourists. one.
  Walking through Park Guell, you can also discover many of Gaudí’s creative ideas. The park’s Hundred Column Hall is quite famous. The building supported by 86 Doric columns was originally a market. In addition to supporting the roof, the hollow columns also have the function of releasing floods. The concave and convex design of the roof of the Hundred-Column Hall and the distance between the columns form a natural concert hall. As long as you play musical instruments in the hall, the sound produced will be particularly beautiful and beautiful after being processed by the hall’s natural acoustics and echo. When you reach the upper level of the Hundred Pillars Hall, you can see a large circular viewing platform with seats that are said to be the longest in the world. The bench is made of stone, with a meandering shape like a wave, and mosaic fragments are randomly patchworked on the surface. It is designed according to human body mechanics, and the backrest has just the right curvature, making people feel comfortable sitting on a hard stone chair. It is definitely a pleasure to immerse yourself in the surrounding beauty and think about your thoughts.
  It was in Park Guell that Gaudí once settled down. He has always lived a simple life and never married. In his later years, he gave up almost all his work and devoted most of his time and energy to the most important work of his life – the Sagrada Familia. The Sagrada Familia Cathedral can be called “God’s building”. It is located in the center of Barcelona. It was built in 1884. The pillars inside the church are made of stones of different colors and materials according to different bearing capacities. The tops of the pillars are constantly bifurcated, giving people With a forest-like feeling. There are no right angles inside and outside the entire church, and few straight lines. Instead, there are a large number of regular curved surfaces, which not only establish the shape of the building, but also present the wonderful effect of light, once again verifying Gaudi’s saying that “straight lines belong to humans, while curves belong to God.” saying. When sunlight enters the interior through the Gothic stained glass windows of the church, the direction of the light and shadow constantly changes with the sun. Visiting it and experiencing all kinds of fantastic ideas makes people once again have sincere admiration for this legendary architect. .

  However, things are unpredictable. Before the Sagrada Familia was completed, in 1926, during the opening ceremony of the tram in Barcelona, ​​an unexpected car accident took away Gaudi’s life. Because Gaudí was dressed in rags and did not carry any documents with him, people even thought that the old man was a beggar. After being taken to the hospital, everyone recognized that this “tramp” was actually Barcelona’s greatest architect. He was buried in the crypt of the Sagrada Familia. Later church builders have passed down his design ideas to this day. Due to war and other reasons, the Sagrada Familia, which has been built for more than 100 years, is still under construction, but this has not affected it in any way to become one of the most famous attractions in the world. It is also the only one in the world that was selected as a World Cultural Heritage before it was completed. Listed buildings. The Sagrada Familia is not expected to be officially completed until 2026, which will be the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death. People also hope to pay tribute and memory to Gaudi in this way. By then, this talented architect should be able to feel relieved in another world.
  It is worth mentioning that the theme exhibition “Meeting Gaudí: The Art World of Genius Architects” was unveiled in Beijing not long ago. People walked into the exhibition site and admired more than 200 exhibits including architectural drawings, models, building materials, video materials, etc. They recalled Gaudi’s glorious career and felt the charm of his architectural world to a greater or lesser extent.

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