Thursday, March 15, 2012

Block of Discord

A distinctive block on Passeig de Gracia in the Eixample District of Barcelona, Spain contains buildings by three of Barcelona's most important architects of Modernisme - Antoni Gaudi, Lluis Domenechi Montaner and Josep Puigi Cadafalch. Each architect had his own distinct style which clashed with each other and the neighbouring buildings - hence the name block of discord. The most famous building here of course is Antoni Gaudi's Cassa Batllo, the only building beautifully lit in the night when I was there.

The façade of Casa Batllo looks like it has been made from skulls and bones with the "skulls" being the balconies and the "bones" the supporting pillars. Gaudi drew much of his inspiration from nature such as marine life and the building had the colour of natural coral matched beautifully with broken ceramic tiles in shades of blue and green with accents of orange. Designed by Gaudi in the early 20th Century , it was built for Josep Batllo, a wealthy textile merchant who lived in the lower two floors with his family while the upper floors were rented out as apartments.

Casa Amatller by Josep Puigi Cadafalch(left) and Casa Batllo by Antoni Gaudi (right)

Casa Batllo glows like a jewel in the night

Wavy, organic lines form the exterior of Casa Batllo

Casa Lleo Morena by Lluis Domenechi Montaner. It now houses the international fashion brand of Lowe on the ground floor

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