Monday, 3 June 2013

Barcelona – Casa Batlló IV., The rest of the building

The building wells
The house contains two building wells. These kind of serve as the lung of the house, this is where most of the light and air comes in. The walls are blue like the ocean and ceramic tiles cover them. Have a look, what do you notice?

First he designed a huge metal ‘cage’ for the light to shine in the wells.

Then he pulled out some tricks of his magic hat. The first of Gaudí’s clever ideas was to lead the light all the way down to the bottom. This he achieved by playing with the colours of the tiles. He used 5 different colours that ranges from light blue, almost white to cobalt. At the top of the building where it’s always bright (depending on the weather) he used mostly dark colours. As the light travelled lower he started to use some lighter blues and at the top of the well we can only find a few tiles in a darker shade. 

He wanted to make sure that there were as few straight lines in the walls as possible. Have a look at the method he used. In order to make round shapes he had to break the tiles in a certain way.

His other idea was to have large windows at the bottom of the well. These got smaller and smaller at every level.

More photos of the details.

The terrace
The terrace opens from the bedrooms. Look at the ceiling of the middle room. It looks like a drop of water that splashes in the surface of a lake. For some reason that nobody knows, Gaudí put these colourful columns right in front of the door that leads to the terrace.

There are light shafts on both sides that are decorated with colourful circles.

This is the terrace, and looking back at the house.

The floor was beautifully tiled. Even this wasn´t flat although it was really hard to capture it in the photo.

On the wall at the back there are flower pots. I found a picture that shows the garden in the Batlló family’s time.

Catenary arches
The very top floor, as was the custom at the time, was left to the servants. This is a very unique space as, unlike the rest of the house, it’s all white, so much like a chest cavity of the imaginary dragon whose spine we can see on the roof. These arches are a typical Gaudí design and can be found in many of his buildings such as the Casa Milá or the Sagrada Familia. Between the arches there are slits in the wall to let the air in.

Some of the rooms were arranged so that we could see how the servants lived. This was one of those rooms. Apparently the bath is still the original.

I absolutely loved this room! Not entirely sure what is the connection to Gaudí here but the ceiling looked like many dragon´s eyes that are open just a slit. The photos really don´t do it justice.

Gaudí was so multi talented that he even designed furniture for his houses. This is one of them.

Finally we are ready with the house. I saved the best for last, in my last Casa Batlló post I will take you up to the roof!  

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