joy magnetism: An architectural smile*




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Sunday, September 7, 2008

An architectural smile*

Magnet #198 - Gaudi's Casa Batlló

So my sister gave me one of those wonderfully designed and packaged books that I love so much - you know the books. The ones that you rarely buy for yourselves - very little text, pretty pictures, well designed and on good paperstock, so pretty, you're afraid to read it?

She got me 1001 Buildings You Must See Before You Die, and I love it. It's fantastic. I love looking through it, seeing all the supercool buildings from around the world. I've been going through it and trying to figure out how many of them I've been to, or seen face-to-face. I refuse to count it up until I get to the end.

I sort of have a leg up, what with living here in NYC, where there are at least a dozen of the buildings. Oh, and also with me having gone to a few countries in Europe. But, if anything, this book has taught me that there's a world of amazing architecture out there. Literally.

This magnet is one of those buildings. It's Gaudi's Casa Batlló, in Barcelona, brought back by the same sister above. Locally, they call it the House of Bones - it does look rather skeletal and bony. But, if you look, there aren't very many straight lines - it flows and ebbs and it's quite amazing. From all the pictures, the inside is just as curvy-curvy. And it has all this neat tilework on the facade. I'm sure it was amazing to see in person. I'm a little sad that there are trees blocking the building from a good view.

It's definitely been added to my list of buildings to see one day. Right now, number one on that list is the Automium, in Brussels. Which was apparently built for Expo 58, a World's Fair type of exhibition.

C'mon. How could you not want to walk inside a giant silver ball? Hello, you could go in and pretend you're Jodie Foster in Contact!


*From an essay by Juan Bassegoda Noneli, lest you think I'm that poetic
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4 comments:

Julie said...

seriously? that's no. 1 on your list? it looks like a giant jack! :) i want to see that book... i wonder if i've been to any of them.

and i loved the gaudi house. sucks that la pedrera was closed that day. oh barcino, with your millions of UNESCO world heritage sites. again, why didn't you come with us to barcelona?

jen said...

i LOVED casa battlo -- it might be my fave building there. You shoulda come with us joy. You would've had a field day -- Barca is lousy with Gaudi buildings.

joy said...

Heh, the Automium is number 1, for now. And, really, cuz it's just a supercool structure.

Eh, eventually, I'll get to Barcelona.

GoldenGait said...

Love the Contact reference, Joy! It's one of my guilty pleasure science fiction movies that I really like, but it's tough to find other people who will even admit to watching it. And yes--that building (I can't believe it's actually a functional building and not just art!) does look just like her contraption! Very cool.