July 23, 2014

Barcelona 7 – The Other Architect (1)

Av de GaudiIf it wasn’t for Gaudi, this is the name you would associate with Barcelona; it is his works you would line up to see.

Lluís Domènech i Montaner defined architectural Modernisme in Catalonia in his writings; he advanced the use of visible iron structure, ceramics and stained glass.  His buildings are both rational and riotously ornamented.  Where Gaudi can be dark and heavy, Montaner is colourful and light.

Here is the first of his two best-known works, both World Heritage sites – just 500 metres from the line-ups at Sagrada Familia, to the other end of  Av. de Gaudi (right): the Hospital de Sant Pau.

Most people see this from the street:

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Not realizing there is a campus of pavilions behind:

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The day we were there, Barcelona Fashion Week had occupied the grounds – a rather incongruous juxtaposition, but very Barcelona.

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Montaner, after studying hospitals throughout Europe, isolated the separate pavilions and linked then with underground passages. He combined the Catalan vault with steel structure to create large, clear spaces.

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New Yorkers will recognize the tile work and vaulting by the Gustovino Brothers, who brought their techniques from Catalonia to the new world.

There’s also this nice touch in the tiling – likely the Board of Directors:.

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 Next: the Palau Musica.

Centro Comercial Glòries
Centro Comercial Glòries

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