Thursday, January 05, 2012

Casa Batllo by Antoni Gaudi

We arrived at 43 Passaig de Gracia and looked up at the weird looking building
yep we are at the right place
this is it!!! this is the building we wanna visit

the building that sticked out like a sore thumb among its neighbour
for its irregular shape and facade

we looked up and saw how weird it was....
like a screaming circus among its boring peers

I wouldn't say it was built by Antoni Gaudi 
*the one that was killed by a tram while crossing the road on his way for Sunday mass :"(((*
he merely renovated an old apartment into this!!!!
this magnificent beauty which is now the National Treasure

but back at his time, it was considered something too unorthodox and beyond their time
The public dun get was an eye-sore....and not a sight to behold...
they called this....the House of Bones

every part of this home has got a meaning
behind every curves, every tiles and every colour
be it for aesthetic or functionality Mr. Gaudi managed to integrate them all

Antoni Gaudi was commissioned to renovate and re-design an existing apartment
for a middle class family - Josep Batllo back in 1904
WOW I dun wanna imagine wat high class ppl stay in those days :P
the facade is so remarkable and iconic
with the skeleton venetian mask-liked balconies
now I know why they called it House of Bones coz it does looked Skeleton-ey

Notice the broken tiles/mosaics piece in waves of different colors?
Gaudi designed it to depict the colors of the sea from a bird eye's view
*Barcelona is next to the sea*
it is the color of the sea during a sunny day, a cloudy day, a stormy day and during a calm day
look at the pic's like the reflection of the Sun on a waving undulating Mediterranean Sea

the Apartment/House is now a museum open to public *only since 2002*
having being maintained and owned privately, it's entrance fees was above the normal but trust me, it's worth every penny u have in ur pocket!!!

Seen here in the above pic, Monkey was inspecting every nooks and corners like a foreman
I was busy gasping and oohhh-ahhhh-ing and marveled at the refurbishment works of Gaudi
"Oh my GAWDDDD look at that!!!! this guy is a perfectionist!!! He's a crazy architect!!!!!"

The window that u see above faces the main high street of Barcelona
we were on the 1st floor
it was designed in a way with no obstructed view of the street u notice there's no LINES n its windows??? it's all CURVES
CURVES in all dimension 360 degrees
I pity the carpenter guy :P

the windows can be opened too
there's a mechanism innit, when lifted the whole panel with all the windows opened unisonly
how did he do that? and mind u, the windows are all curved!!!!

the story behind this main room was...he wanted to depict the undersea world
with beautiful corals, colors, shapes and textures
*pic stolen fr the web*
this is how it looked like at nite!!!
so magnificent!!! beyond words :))))))
the main hall was really designed "to see and to be seen"
Gaudi thought of everything for the house including its ceiling
look!!! there's really no straight lines!!!! everything are curved!!!
it even has got a SeaShell ceiling light
inclusive of all the knobs in the house
dun care window knobs or door knobs

later we found out that there's no mould that he could use to make the knob
he actually use the soft plaster material, put his hands innit as though he's opening something to create a mould for all the knobs in da house
hence all knobs fit perfectly into any hands, any palms
coz it's very very VERY ERGONOMICS

I put my Monkey palm on it
there's a place fitting my THUMB perfectly 
my fingers rested peacefully on it
and my chubby palm feels good on it
:))))) didn't know opening a window could be an ART hahahahahaha

and bcoz of that, I had the tendency to touch everything in this house haahahhahahaha
"Hey look look look.....!!!!" and started touching everything including those with warnings signs
JS -_- pengsan....and vowed never to bring this Monkey out again......
"Orang Kampung" he said....

designed to looked like the Gills of Fish
it's actually to ventilate the house
when it's too cold, just shut them
else push its lid opened and u can feel the fresh air rushing in
oooooo how clever!!!!

all the fresh air came fr this "Air/light Well"
not only did it provide air, it also provides the source of life - LIGHTS
balconies has got a "net" design, looks like fishing nets

the mosaic tiles used at the top has got a darker colors
and it has got a gradient from darker at the top to brighter at the bottom
the logic behind this was there's more lights at the top, so u dun need such bright tiles
and u need lighter colored tiles at the bottom to diffuse more lights
so at the end, u achieved this results....of an evenly colored "Air Well" with uneven colored tiles
hahahahhah u get my drift? :P

also noticed that the windows at the top are smaller
it gets bigger at the bottom bcoz u dun need so much of lights at the top
bigger windows allow more lights in
at the bottom of each windows, there's the "Fish Gills" air ventilator
even the "Air Well" was not spared from curves
the tiles had to be broken into perfect angle to cover its "curved" walls

can u imagine all the meticulous work
and the number of tiles broken to meet the perfect match to its curved walls?
I wanna faint thinking of it

and after assembling them, it has to look this good and symmetry!!!!!
at this point I can confirm that Antoni Gaudi is either a perfectionist or he is just a mad architect
inside the same air well is the lift shaft and staircase
he built a mirror separator that looked like the above
so as u ascend and descend it feels like u are inside WATER!!!
he's really crazy to have thought of this.....for a middle class family....-_-"
*pic stolen fr the Web*
at this juncture I wanna belt out "Under the Sea" by Sebastian from the cartoon Little Mermaid
and I can't help singing it in my lil heart
coz I felt like I'm in one

everything about this home is so organic....and ergonomic....
and functionality with aesthetic beauty

the handle on every stairway was moulded accordingly to a human's hand
so as u ascend/descend holding on to it...u feel like one
with the stairs...
yeah sorry to repeat this but I need to stress it again....ONE with the Stairs
*makes me wonder how it feels like sitting on the toilet bowls of this home*
at the top of the floor we looked out at the opposite apartments and saw how it was like originally
the original apartment was actually built by Antoni Gaudi's teacher - Emilio Salas Cortes

I felt like a mermaid popping out fr a beautiful giant clam at the balcony
look at the tiny balcony with white shell!!!!
*Under the Sea continued to play in my head*
we continued our way up to the top floor with this Arched parabolic corridor
it feels like we were inside a Whale 
the arches were the bones of a fish/whale/sea creature
this area used to be laundry section of the house
we climbed our way to the rooftop
why would anyone wanna design such a beautiful rooftop????
look at the chimneys!!!!
chimneys for all the fireplace and for the kitchen
designed with broken colourful mosaic/tiles on it

Antoni Gaudi never fails to mesmerise and surprise ppl huh?
and because of that Casa Batllo is now a World UNESCO Heritage Building
from the top we could see the whole street and its neighbourhood
hmmm now wat is this that's blocking my view in front of me???
I'm too short I need to hop a lil to see the street downstairs
GAHHHH wat is this???
it's like the back of a DRAGON!!!!
on a ROOFTOP!!??!?!?!?!?!

just look at the detailing of the tiles
the colors.... to create the depth and dimension of the dragon the facade facing the main street....the scales were beautiful laid
those scales = roof tiles
sweat man!!!!!
We risked our lives to snap this pic for we had to lean against a railing to capture this for u!!!!

Antoni Gaudi was the reason we went to Barcelona
*okie lar the food as well tee hee hee*
yes I have yet to blog bout his other works....u can just spend one week here visiting his works
it's everywhere in Barcelona
from the beautiful Sagrada Familia Cathedral to more private homes

he was a Man beyond his Time
hence no one could understand him
well I alwiz believe Extraordinary People are Eccentric
and u can't just be's almost u have to be born with it

I was so sad to read his story
dedicating his lives to all this beautiful arts and remained single
working non-stop
and got run down by a tramp >.<
since he's eccentric, he dressed really shabbily and no one could recognised him

thinking that he was a beggar, nobody....not any passer-by, took him to the hospital
in the end, a kind policeman sent him to the hospital with a taxi
with no documents on his body, he was not being treated
not until 2 days later, when finally...somebody recognised him and gave him proper facilities & treatment

but it was too late....

I think Life is the most powerful and precious element u ever own
doesn't matter you are rich or not
so treasure it and make full use of your Life

for more information on Casa Batllo


Chasing Food Dreams said...

I have to credit you for providing all the information and details plus all the names... I would have pengsan...

the building is uniquely beautiful.. and I think the builders also must have all their hair pulled out building every curve... hehehe!

Gorgeous and I really dunno how you & JS always manage to find such gorgeous places to visit! Thks for sharing... :)

licheng said...

Such amazing work of art, but a sad ending to his life.

May Ng said...


I have never seen anything like this, curved, colorful, intricate.. astonishingly beautiful!

I really love the fairy tale architecture!

Will definitely visit this place when I plan to go Barcelona :)

js said...

He was definitely an architectural genius who was way ahead of his times.........and definitely every contractors nightmare :))

CHER-RY said...

Hello everyone, sorry for late reply.....

Yes when opportunity arise, all of u must go and visit Barcelona because there's loads of Gaudi's work to admire :))))... So there's more than iberico ham and tapas in Spain

Plus u have yet to blog about the "mother of all" of his works :)))))