When one thinks of the architecture of Barcelona, one architect always comes to mind, Antoni Gaudí. Much of Gaudí's work was inspired by several of his key interests, architecture, nature and religion and many of his famous buildings tie these interests together. Gaudí planned every detail of his designs, integrating into his architecture a series of crafts and techniques in which he was skilled: ceramics, stained glass, wrought ironwork forging and carpentry. Barcelona is home to several of his famous works and one of these is Casa Batlló, which is situated on Passeig de Gracia, a grand boulevard home to many stunning buildings and designer shops.
The apartment of the Batlló family has an initial entrance lobby on the first floor, and everything is rounded, no straight lines can be found. It is said Gaudi avoided straight lines as they do not appear naturally in nature. This fire place was designed to be used by young lovers and a chaperone. One side has a seat big enough for two, and the other a smaller space for one.
After entering the main room the ornate doors are a stunning sculpture in wood and glass.
Like the rest of the house there are no straight lines here, and the curves on the wall lead up onto the ceiling and the dramatic light.
This room was designed to maximise the views out onto the street below, and also to allow the family to be seen. The organic feel to the wood and glass continues from the internal doors onto the windows.
Gaudi loved the use of natural light, and to try and ensure that the centre of the home was bathed in light there is a lightwell. Where in other buildings lightwells are often bland ugly spaces, but not at Casa Batlló, beautiful ceramics line the walls, and the reflective surfaces help bounce light around. This part of the house was actually my favourite, you expect the formal living spaces to look good but a functional part of the house like this is so often overlooked.
At the top of the house are a number of rooms and spaces for use of the maids of the house. Here were spaces for washing and drying laundry. The building was designed to be well ventilated and these interesting arches at the top form part of this ventilation system.
Once you get up onto the roof itself Gaudi runs riot with the colour. His buildings often feature ornate and tiled chimneys and those on Casa Batlló do not disappoint!