Gaudi La Pedera – Guest Blogger: Penny Peters
Gaudi La Pedrera When in Barcelona, Spain in April our small group was fortunate to get evening tickets to view Casa Mila (aka La Pedrera) designed by Antonin Gaudi . The façade was being renovated just then so its entire surface was covered with a screen—not very photogenic (it’s easy to find pictures of the façade online). However, the large apartment building was open for a short evening tour. We were able to view the entrance gates and court yard from the inside, one of the apartments as it would have been furnished in 1910, the attic and the magnificent roof with its iconic chimneys and rain collecting structures. Amazingly the building was designed with an underground garage, quite modern for its time (built 1906-1910). Gaudi is renowned for architectural design inspired by nature. Barcelona residents did not immediately embrace the newly designed building, and so nicknamed it La Pedrera, meaning ‘The Quarry’, a name Gaudi did not like. The apartments all connect to the open central courtyard for fresh air. The largest and most expensive apartments were just one flight up. The apartments decreased in size and price the higher one climbed in the building. There were also two small elevators tucked around one the of courtyard corners. I was especially drawn to the attic area which is constructed of tall wooden ribbed arches that connect to a curving spine reminiscent of a snake skeleton. On the roof the chimneys look like helmeted aliens and the large structures directing rain water into the cisterns are used at night to accept all kinds of projected organic images. That made for an exciting light show. The experience of being able to explore such a famous architectural space was powerful! . 22 slides below photographed by Penny.