Church of the Colónia Güell - Spain

Church of the Colónia Güell Santa Coloma de Cervelló – Spain

This church was for the workers of the Colónia Güell industrial village (Santa Coloma de Cervelló,Barcelona), from which it gets its name. The church of Santa Coloma became one of the most-loved of Gaudí’s project’s, and was a type of laboratory for technical tests, of which he later made use of in the Sagrada Família.entrance to the church of the Colonia Guell

Gaudí’s idea is extremely complex, and the church was designed and detailed with the utmost care. Once again the architect thought about the need to unite the monument with its natural setting, and this is the only compositional element used in this work. According to Ràfols the commission for the job dates back to 1898, but it was not until 1908 that the first stone was solemnly laid. The work continued at a very slow pace until 1917, when they were stopped due to the difficulties arising from the Great War. In 1918 Eusebi Güell died in his home in Park Güell, which also meant the end of the work on the church of the industrial village since his heirs, particularly Santiago Güell, were not at all keen on finishing the building. By then the crypt was covered and the stone doorways of the upper church in place. The conception of this church followed lines until then unknown by the architectural profession. Gaudí did not limit himself to drawing and sketching, but tested out a completely new procedure.Firstly he outlined the ideal form of the church that had to have a concentrated ground plan and acute towers; over this first draft Gaudi composed a structure by means of a very simple, but quite brilliant, procedure. He calculated the loads that would have to rest on the arches and pillars and made some small canvas bags filled with pellets, with a weight ten thousand times lighter than the calculated load. He hung these bags from strings that described the forms of the arches at a scale of 1:10. With this, and using a geometric property of this type of curve, he discovered a form called catenary. He took a photograph, which on reversing, produced the suitable and functional form of the arches. In other words, he built the arch precisely from the form of the curve of the pressures.

brick pillars in front of the church

The crypt of the Colónia Güell brings together Gaudí’s artistic plenitude. A portico with paraboloid vaults precedes the church and below another is in the form of a grotto, a constant element in the architecture of Gaudí. The windows, which seem like the open mouths of giant fish, are hyperboloids, and inside the pillars alternate between circular section brick and inclined natural basalt stone from Castellfollit de la Roca (Garrotxa), hardly smoothed down, giving an impressive expressionist effect. Gaudí explained that in the book of Exodus, God, from the burning bush, said to Moses, “If you make me an altar of stone do no carve it with a chisel because metal makes stone impure”. For this reason the pieces of basalt were worked with wooden mallets. Continue reading “Church of the Colónia Güell – Spain

Casa Calvet - Barcelona - Spain

Casa Calvet Street Facade In Barcelona

In Carrer Casp in Barcelona, Gaudi built a house of flats between party walls for the textile manufacturer Pere Màrtir Calvet. The building has facade facing the street made entirely of sandstone from Montjuïc, with balconies of flagstones sculpted with numerous items of relief work and a complex gallery on the first floor with relief work that represents mushrooms, since the owner was a mycologist and, at the top the horn of Amalthea overflowing with fruit. Continue reading “Casa Calvet – Barcelona – Spain

Casa Botines - León - Spain

Casa Botines Front Facade Plaza de San Marcelo

At the same time as the Episcopal Palace of Astorga was being built, Gaudi received the commission for the project for a house to let in the Plaza de San Marcelo in León for Messrs. Fernández and Andrés who had a textile business inherited from Juan Homs Botinàs. The house was called Botines (1891-1892) due to the deformation of the surname of the Catalan trader established in León.

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Theresan College Barcelona - Spain

Theresan College exterior design by Gaudi
Enric d’Osso founded the Congregation of Theresan Nuns. In 1887 he began the construction of the building, using the project of the architect Joan B. Pous Trabal (1885-1927), but very shortly after Father Osso, well aware of Gaudí’s fame and religiousness, passed on to him the job of finishing the college, situated in Carrer Ganduxer.
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El Capricho - Comillas - Spain

El Capricho – Comillas – Spain

El Capricho Gaudi Opera in ComillasIn 1883, Gaudi was given the commission by Mr Máximo Diaz de Quijano to to undertake a project for a holiday retreat beside the Marquis of Comillas’Sobrellano Palace, in the selfsame town in Cantabria. The Capricho building, a strict contemporary of  Casa Vicens, is yet another example of the plenitude of this oriental tendency in which Gaudi found such prodigious solutions. Continue reading “El Capricho – Comillas – Spain