The minute you arrive in Barcelona you feel the vibrancy of this beautiful city. People are everywhere and there’s a heady pulse that is so inviting. (Or is that the copious cups of Vermut and Sangria being consumed in the Bodegues?) Art is everywhere, in the streets, in clever galleries tucked away and also the food is such a delicious work of art.
Of course, Barcelona is the home to Gaudi. This incredible architect was so ahead of his time. My favourite Gaudi building is Casa Batlló.
The front lounge and dining room were inspired by an underwater grotto. The ceiling looks like the inside of a spiral cone shell and is also hand painted with delicate fine lines of gold. There are many stunning architectural achievements too like the windows that slide up and down; very ahead of their time, let alone the shape of them!
Another incredible feature is the light well that is five storeys high. Gaudi meticulously adjusted the depth of the blue tiles from top to bottom gradually getting darker towards the top to balance the effect of the light shining down so that when you look up the whole stairwell actually appears to be one shade of blue.
I think he may have been a tad OCD and that’s before we get to all his incredible mosaics on every building. There are more than 10 different buildings in Barcelona and the most ambitious of all is the Sagrada Familia which is still being completed today. I am inspired by the way he really broke all the boundaries especially in such a traditional era.
STREET ART BARCELONA
While in Barcelona we did a two day street art tour, walking all over the city. There is such a diversity of style, and variety of local and global political comments. The use of Augmented Reality is super-cool. Think the Pokemon craze. You can download an app, hold it in front of the street art and it will come to life. A lot of fun.
I also enjoyed seeing some small emerging galleries, as well as some of the most prestigious galleries in Barcelona. The contrasts were interesting and also the collaborative approaches that some galleries have adopted in the different ways to use a gallery space. Some have several rooms that can be adapted to purpose, e.g. for co-working, conferences, as nightclubs, and cinemas, and also with more traditional gallery spaces that can be hired for social events – all in the one gallery!! Very cool in the old city.