Architecture in Barcelona – Gaudí, yes; gaudy, no.

Post by Mark Hazard

There is one particular common mistake people make when they believe about the architecture of Barcelona. It is a common misconception that the only memorable architecture was that of the city’s iconic figure, Antoni Gaudí and even that is usually dismissively handed over as in some way getting basically ‘quirky’.

Barcelona is notable in that it is made up of impressive architecture from, predominantly, three main periods – Catalan Gothic, Modernism and, final but most absolutely not least, Up to date.

Even though there are some Roman stays in the town, most of the ‘classical’ architecture is from the 14th and 15th Century, in the place of the town identified as the Barri Gòtic. There is a just beautiful Gothic cathedral, mostly constructed from the conclude of the 13th century although its north-western facade wasn’t completed till the late nineteenth. The cathedral can be observed in the centre of a veritable labyrinth of narrow, twisting streets with palaces, courtyards and really grand houses.

Of program, it is the modernism of Gaudí and his contemporaries which has dominated people’s concepts of Barcelona’s architecture – generally because of the city’s best-recognized creating, La Sagrada Família and the breathtaking Parc Güell. Gaudí worked on his nonetheless incomplete masterpiece church from 1884 right up until his death in 1926. All of the hallmarks of his architecture can be observed here – curved developing stones, natural and organic-like styles, extravagantly coloured mosaic tiles and that special feeling of audacity Gaudí possessed. There are many inspirational Gaudí developed buildings in Barcelona – La Pedrera and Casa Batlló amongst them – along with some unmistakable street lamps on Plaça Reial – but check out not to skip the contributions of his fellow followers of the modernist tradition. In the Manzana de la Discordia, for example, in the L’Eixample region of the city, there are buildings by Lluís Domènech and Josep Puig as nicely as Gaudí himself. These Modernistas, although closely connected with art movements this kind of as artwork nouveau, were hugely influenced by the other architectural models all around them in Barcelona, as nicely as by the all-natural shapes of the area. They also loved to experiment with strange mixtures of creating resources. Glimpse at the buildings carefully and you will value that any ‘quirky’ or ‘gaudy’ labels connected to them are dreadfully about-simplistic.

It is probably of no surprise, then, that considerably contemporary architecture in the city is equally as adventurous. Sir Norman Foster, the British designer and architect who acquired the prestigious Prince of Asturias award for the Arts in 2009, has been at the forefront of modern-day design in the metropolis. His telecom Tower at Collserola seems to be out over the city and his imaginative, Gaudí-inspired development of the Barcelona Football Stadium is certain to astonish the globe when it is finished in 2013. The Torre Agbar skyscraper of Jean Nouvel, opened in 2005, is just one of a quantity of other daring and provocative buildings that abound.

Barcelona is an architecturally spectacular metropolis surprises await round almost each corner. It has usually been an independent, difficult corner of Spain – and its architecture assists illustrate that element of its character flawlessly.

About the Author

Read my guidebook to Barcelona for far more data on this stunning town, covering architecture in Barcelona and a lot much more.