La Pedrera (Casa Milà)
One cannot come to Barcelona and not have a list of architectural miracles by Antoni Gaudi to visit.
Gaudi was one of the most inspiring architects in the world. As my friend Alice would say, his work was poetic. And one of the best stops to learn and understand Gaudi’s work is the La Pedrera, also known as the Casa Milà.
This huge building with an austere facade was built from 1905-1912. At a time where building designs were largely straight lines, symmetrical columns and classical detailing, the La Pedrera building was regarded as a bold and controversial design with an exterior undulating stone facade and wrought iron decorative motifs on the balconies.
I didn’t have a zoom lens to capture those wrought iron decorations from the streets, so here’s a shot taken of the balcony from inside one of the rooms.
I highly recommend a visit to this museum and an audio-guide is a must, unless you can understand Spanish. Once the headphones for the audio guide were put on, they never left my ears. The amount of information I got from every location in the museum was so precious, it would have been a huge loss if one merely cruised through the building without listening to the commentaries.
The exploration started on the roof top. Which by itself was the most spectacular of structures.
From the roof top, we could look down through the centre hollow way of the building, down to the courtyard below.
The La Pedrera was constructed to house apartments and offices in the 1910s. The units were however not popular with tenants because the space was irregular and considered difficult to furnish. Today it is a gorgeous museum with a stunning interior and holds exhibitions to the design ideas and thought processes of Gaudi for several of his buildings in Barcelona.
In this space called the Espai Gaudi were the models and illustrations that described the things that inspired Gaudi to design what was then considered as architecturally impossible.
It was very inspiring to see his thought process and the structural shapes he had created.
Gaudi was famous for constructing 3D models as blue-prints. This was an illustration of how he made the plans for one multi-storeyed church out of chain string. He hung a string structure and studied its inverted reflection in a mirror in order to complete building plans. What a genius!
Seeing the rooms that used to be apartments in the 1900s was an interesting experience.
They were grand, even in today’s modern perspective.
Check out the La Pedrera when in Barcelona. Seriously one of the best museums I’ve visited in my life.
The La Pedrera is located at the corner of Passeig de Gracia and Carrer de Provenca. Nearest Metro station is Passeig de Gracia. Check its website here for opening hours.