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La Pedrera – A piece of unusual Art by Antoni Gaudi

The La Pedrera is also known as Casa Milà. The unusual beauty built by Antoni Gaudí at the start of the 20th century is La Pedrera which belongs to Pere Milà and Roser Segimon. Antoni was commissioned by the couple to build them an apartment building one year after their marriage at Passeig de Gràcia. The main floor was owned by the Mila family and the rest of the apartments were rented out. This fantasy in stone appears to have been carved out of the living rock. Hence its nickname is derived from the word “the Quarry”. This was Gaudi’s last secular work before dedicating the rest of his life to the Sagrada Family. It has been declared UNESCO World Heritage in 1984. Today it is a cultural center and the headquarters of Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera and houses.

This beauty in the art of the building is similar to Casa BATLLÓ, breaking its traditional architecture by using not a single straight line. Together with the use of steel, this allowed the architect to create completely irregular floor plans. If you observe closely you can notice differences between the pillars and the ceilings. The apartments are arranged on each side of the courtyard in circular and oval-shapes so that the light can pass through each of the apartments.

 

Words on the architectural part:

Gaudi always worked on his clients wish and designed them a building which is unique in its own way. From the La Pedrera’s amazing designed courtyards which were amazingly lighted and ventilated. In this project, Gaudí had the collaboration of the young architect Josep Maria Jujol. Its pillar-based structure, which offered a total versatility of layout, then the lifts, which provided direct access to the various apartments from the entrance hall. The building had two different entrances which were organized, respectively, around two big interconnected interior courtyards, so that people could enter their respective homes without any hodge-podge.

The roof terrace has lots of creativity done on it and unrelated to anything else to be found in the architecture of its time. With its serpentine work in harmony the shape and rhythm of the main façade, the various elements of the staircases, ventilation towers and chimneys, clearly stand out. The unique feature of this building is its spatial conception informing absolutely everything. The Milà House doesn’t really have traditional courtyards rather it has two large round and elliptical courtyards. These modern courtyards spaces of the structure lead the visitor from the street to the roof terrace directly with the good amount of ventilation an light at the same time. Large sheets of glass were unavailable at the time, so Gaudí fitted together with a series of panes in irregular shapes, based on animals and plants, creating an area of small, protected pieces of glass in the lower part and larger, more luminous pieces at the top. Larger pieces of glass were unavailable earlier by the start of 20th century. This structure acts as a grill and as a door that can be opened in the middle to allow vehicles to pass through, and to the sides for people on foot.

The front side of the courtyard is a perfect eye soother respective of its shapes, light, and colors. The mural paintings provide the beautiful colors you find all over the building. The mural paintings all over the building r with various scenes are inspired by mythology. Gaudí anticipated the needs of modern life and in the basement of Casa Milà built a garage for coaches and cars, the first in a residential building. He used slender iron columns, as well as an innovative metal structure reminiscent of a bicycle wheel, to support the floor of the courtyard above. The use of iron enabled him to reduce the built volume and to gain maneuvering space. Rather than serving the traditional function of a load-bearing wall, it is instead a curtain wall. The structure wholly (the blocks) is connected with the metal components, thereby making the large windows in the frontage possible. The whole façade is made of three different types of stone - limestone from the Garraf in the lower parts and in some of the structural elements; stone from Vilafranca del Penedès for the bulk of the façade; and limestone from Ulldecona for some of the features. The grills you find in the balconies of la Pedrera are made out of iron scrap, bars and chains is an unusual thing but it stands out and makes the building way more charming. It also complements the architecture providing a decorative element. They are regarded as the forerunners of the abstract sculpture of the 20th century. Some of the chimneys are individual freestanding constructions, while others are joined in groups of three or four. They rotate about their own axes, following an interior and exterior line that corresponds to the aerodynamic displacement of the smoke emerging from them.

Thus we briefed you on all the important things from the structure. Hope it helps you and you enjoy it too.

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About Hrishi Desai

Hrishi has done civil engineering and has a good base knowledge of interior designing as well. He has designed projects that range from recycling urban land and master planning in Mumbai to the design of art spaces, boutiques, weekend houses, factories, social institutes and office buildings across India – thereby engaging diverse issues, multiple constituencies and varying scales: from interior design and architecture to urban design, conservation and planning.

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