Friday, June 19, 2009

Gaudi and the Nature of Architecture

So this will be my last blog post about Spain until I can go again. I spent half my vacation in Barcelona and was blown away by Gaudi's work. I was immediately taken by the organic nature of his buildings. They looked alive to me. The more I looked and the more I read, I could see how important nature was and how he incorporated it into his designs.

Here the Casa Batlló seems to have a water theme. The roof looks like fish scales, my partner said the balcony reminded him of a great white shark's smile, and the house is different shades of blue among other things.

The Pedrera was supposedly inspired by a cliffside. He avoided straight lines and right angles basically because they are not found in nature. It's interesting to think of how unnatural our style of building is.

My favorite by far was the Sagrada Familia. This was a truly awe-inspiring building. The pillars running throughout the cathedral look like trees. It made me think of cathedral grove here in Muir Woods.

And there is a mini exhibit in the cathedral detailing the influence of nature on Gaudi's work. This comparison of one of his styles of towers with a lavender bloom was very interesting.

I also thought of how Frank Lloyd Wright tried to design things to fit into the landscape and make as few ripples as possible. Gaudi went a different route. He designed for an urban space, but brought nature back into the city, the building. I think Gaudi got it right.


  1. I've only seen one Gaudi building in person. They look very cool, but a little spooky. The lavender spires make a certain amount of sense.

  2. yes but wright and gaudi's opinions of what organic arcitecture were different. wright simplified nature and mixed it with modern day humanity and gaudi took nature and natural principles (straight-line geometry) directly and applied them to his work. theyre both amazing but gaudis are definatly cooler; they look like they are melting