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Monday, 17 January 2011

Barcelona- Design City

This is a fairly long photo-essay and a tribute to the beautiful city of Barcelona. Part of my aesthetic overload while I was there was because the whole city, even down to the minutest details, is a visual feast. I was torn between sweeping panorama's and being drawn in by the details of tiles, paving stones and iron balconies. It made me think about the way in which cities are designed; how being an architect must be partly about distinctive, individual vision and partly about conceiving your ideas within the whole so that they command a kind of fluidity.

Street lamp near L'Arc de Triomf, this green-grey wiring plays with the shape and growth of the palm trees all around it.

An old window grate, there is beauty even in the desolate.

Grating on the Arc De Triomf, even the tiniest details are planned out.

Looking out through the bench which weaves in to one of Gaudi's lamp posts on Passeig de Gracia.

The beach at Barceloneta has undergone a more recent regeneration, crisp lines and striking shapes keep it modern.

These benches on the beach, with their long shadows and a shape which curves into your body, are works of sculpture in themselves.

Even my coffee cup was a careful work of Spanish design, using graphics here from Pedro Almodovar's film 'Attame!' (Tie me up! Tie me Down!). I love Almodovar so this coffee was a highlight.

The paving stones designed by Gaudi on the Passeig de Gracia. On this street it is necessary to keep your eyes alert, to look from the ground to the road and up in to the balconies and facades of buildings to be satiated.

Here is Gaudi's lamp post in greater detail, tangling in to the blue sky.

At Parc Guell, Gaudi has produced an artist's theme park; a bench mosaicked from salvaged tiles runs along the plateau like a lip.

All of the tiles are different, adapting in colour and pattern as the wall travels. It is tempting to take my camera to the whole thing, but I will leave you with only a few examples.


  1. That coffee cup is nice. I spent 3 days in Barcelona in 2000, quite a long ago... and was running around the city to see the things you've seen, and then moved to Granada and spent a week or so there, just because the single room in Granada was cheaper than the YH in Barcelona.

  2. Thank you for taking me to Barcelona today. I love details so I appreciate in particular looking at the window grates, lamp posts and those beautiful tiles. I wasn't sure about Kafka on the Shore at first, if I read fiction it is always historical, but once Nakata made an appearance I can't put it down! Will give you a final report when I finish!

  3. Thanks so much for the visit. I love the photos you have a nice eye for seeing what needs to be seen