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    Posted December 2, 2013 by
    NoradeAngelli
    Location
    barcelona, Spain
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Travel photo of the day

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    Antoni Gaudí’s La Pedrera © Nora De Angelli/ www.noraphotos.com

     
    Casa Milà better known as La Pedrera or 'The Quarry', is a building designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built during the years 1906–1912. It is located at 92, Passeig de Gràcia (passeig is Catalan for promenade) in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

    It was a controversial design at the time for the bold forms of the undulating stone facade and wrought iron decoration of the balconies and windows, designed largely by Josep Maria Jujol, who also created some of the plaster ceilings.

    Architecturally it is considered an innovative work for its steel structure and curtain walls – the façade is self-supporting. Other innovative elements were the construction of underground car parking and separate lifts and stairs for the owners and their servants.
    In 1984, it was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The building is made open to the public by the Catalunya Caixa Foundation, which manages the various exhibitions and activities and visits to the interior and roof.

    Casa Milà was built for the married couple, Roser Segimon and Pere Milà. Roser Segimon was the wealthy widow of Josep Guardiola, an Indiano, a term applied locally to the Catalans returning from the American colonies with tremendous wealth. Her second husband, Pere Milà, was a developer who was criticized for his flamboyant lifestyle and ridiculed by the contemporary residents of Barcelona, when they joked about his love of money and opulence, wondering if he was not rather more interested in "the widow’s guardiola" (piggy bank), than in "Guardiola’s widow".

    Roof and chimneys

    The work of Gaudí on the rooftop of La Pedrera was a collective of his experience at Palau Güell, but with solutions that were clearly more innovative - this time creating shapes and volumes with more body, more prominence, and less polychromatic.
    On the rooftop there are six skylights/staircase exits (four of which were covered with broken pottery and some that ended in a double cross typical of Gaudí), twenty-eight chimneys in several groupings (like were designed for Casa Batlló), twisted so that the smoke came out better, two half-hidden vents whose function is to renew the air in the building, crowning the walkway that goes around this dream castle, four cupulins (domes?) that discharged to the facade. The staircases also house the water tanks; some of these are snail-shaped.

    The stepped roof of La Pedrera, called "the garden of warriors" by the poet Pere Gimferrer because the chimneys appear to be protecting the skylights, has undergone a radical restoration, removing chimneys added in interventions after Gaudí, television antennas, and other elements that degraded the space. The restoration brought back the splendor to the chimneys and the skylights that were covered with fragments of marble and broken Valencia tiles. One of the chimneys was topped with glass pieces - it was said that Gaudí did that the day after the inauguration of the building, taking advantage of the empty bottles from the party. It was restored with the bases of champagne bottles from the early twentieth century.

    The repair work has enabled the restoration of the original impact of the overhangs made of stone from Ulldecona with fragments of tiles. This whole set is more colourful than the facade, although here the creamy tones are dominant.
    Gaudi, a Catholic and a devotee of the Virgin Mary, planned for the Casa Milà to be a spiritual symbol. Overt religious elements include an excerpt from the Rosary prayer on the cornice and planned statues of Mary, specifically Our Lady of the Rosary, and two archangels, St. Michael and St. Gabriel.
    (sources: personal notes, Wikipedia)

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