17 February 2018

Spain 3.0: Casa Milà (La Pedrera)

On my last day in Barcelona, I visited the Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera. I had a flight to San Sebastián in the afternoon, so after checking out of my hostel, I decided to leave my luggage at the front desk for a few hours, and head out and enjoy the remaining time I had in Barcelona. I opted to go to the Casa Milà as it was close to where I was staying. This is also the only Gaudi-related item on my itinerary.

Casa Milà is also known as La Pedrera, or the Quarry. This nickname is due to its facade, which features plenty of non-straight rock lines. The building is found on Passeig de Gracia, which is a fancy street in Barcelona. It is definitely a good address.

The visit begins and ends at the courtyard, which is stunning. In my opinion, this is the prettiest part of the building. The building was built between 1906 and 1912, and is still a functioning building. It is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is open for visits.

The roof is perhaps the most recognisable aspect of this building. Many photos of the strange shapes on the roof can be found. The thing is, Gaudi wanted the chimneys to be pretty, and so he used plenty of new designs and shapes, all inspired by forms found in nature. The staircases and skylight chambers were also fashioned this way.

Underneath the roof is the loft, which is now used as an exhibition space. Gaudi created the attic using 270 parabolic vaults, and I was told that none are of the exact same size and dimension. Geometry features quite often in Gaudi's works, and even though it looks asymmetrical, it actually is very mathematically precise.

The final section of the visit is an apartment in the building, which displays period furniture. It also showcases Gaudi's skill in interior arrangement. His apartment layout makes full use of natural light, as well as space. It would be quite an interesting experience living in his house.

Overall, this is a highlight of any visit to Barcelona, especially if you are an architecture fan. I missed this during my first visit, so I opted to go here on my second time to the city.

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