Our Spanish style file continues, this time with some architectural inspiration you won’t find anywhere else in the world. We’re talking about Antoni Gaudí, the master of the bold, beautiful, and over-the-top that still, somehow, manages to not look overdone. To get an eyeful of Gaudí’s best in person, you’ll need to hop a plane to Spain—a hardship, we know—and specifically to Barcelona, where you’ll find yourself slack-jawed over all the design candy. But if that’s not in the cards at the moment, scroll down and enjoy some pics from our recent trip and a few fab online sources.
Gaudí was, to put it mildly, a jack of all trades, with expertise in ceramics, stained glass, wrought-iron forging, carpentry, and interior design, in addition to his mastery of architecture. Though he’s usually classified with the Modernisme movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, his roots go a whole lot farther back into the neo-Gothic, the Romantic, and even into classical Egyptian, Indian, Persian, and Moorish art. Gaudí’s work was most often inspired by nature, especially mountains, caves, and rock formations, and his forward-thinking approach to conceiving his designs in three dimensions meant that he rarely created blueprints of his plans, preferring instead to make scale models . . . or to just wing it on-site. Because of this, most of his buildings have an inimitable free, open look that doesn’t conform to traditional geometric configurations.
We especially love Gaudí’s repeating elements, like the four-armed crosses, elaborate tile mosaics and stained-glass windows, curvaceous corners, facelike sculptural details, and . . . salamanders. Yes, salamanders, like this iconic little guy from Parc Güell.
From the Goth-meets-Mod La Sagrada Familia to the storybook Parc Güell and the wow-worthy buildings originally constructed as residences (Casa Battló, La Pedrera, and Casa de los Botines, to name just a few), Gaudí’s architecture is entirely original. There’s a lot more we could say about this ground-breaking architect, but we’ll let the photos speak for themselves. Check them out, and tell us in the comments what you find most memorable.