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

Park Guell - Barcelona - Spain

Entrance at Park Guell Barcelona

In 1899 Eusebi Güell bought some land in the town of Gràcia, in the area of the area of the Salut district, a piece of land known as the Can Muntaner de Dalt as well as the Bald Mountain, the name given to it by the Hieronymite monks from the monastery in Val d’Hebró in memory of Golgotha, the place where Christ was crucified. Continue reading “Park Guell – Barcelona – Spain

Guell Bodegas - Sitges - Spain

Gaudi's Guell Bodegas Main FacadeHis palace completed, Eusebi Güell entrusted Gaudi with the construction of a building for the Guell Bodegas, on  the Garraf coast, south of Barcelona. It is a rocky, wild area overlooking the Mediterranean Sea where there had been a building used as a bodega, which was owned by the Cathedral Chapter of Barcelona. Continue reading “Guell Bodegas – Sitges – Spain

Palau Güell - Barcelona - Spain

Palau Güell – Barcelona – Spain

Palau Güell entrance Gaudi architecture Barcelona

It was built between 1886 and 1888. The constructive solutions provided by Gaudí are as varied as they are  unique. In the basement, totally built with brickwork mushroom-shaped columns and bricked vaulting, the stable were installed with a series of vents in the form of chimneys that carried the unpleasant smells up to the flat roof. The low part of the building was made with stone from Eusebio’s quarries on the Garraf coast. Continue reading “Palau Güell – Barcelona – Spain

Pavilions of the Güell Estate - Barcelona - Spain

Pavilions of the Güell Estate – Barcelona – Spain

The main entrance at Pavilions of the Guell EstateAround 1884 Mr Eusebi Güell entrusted Gaudí with some building work on the Les Corts de Sarrià estate, to reform the house already standing and to build the enclosure wall and the porter’s lodge pavilions. On this task Gaudí threw himself wholeheartedly into the best of his orientalist period. Continue reading “Pavilions of the Güell Estate – Barcelona – Spain