(Biography by Gijs van Hensbergen) (2001)
Before the New Brutalism (described as the ‘Screw You Style of Architecture”), there was Antoni Gaudí (1852 – 1926) who dazzled the world with his innovative, modern, rococo buildings in Catalonia and Barcelona. Le Corbusier recognised his daring and complex designs, so it is a pity he declined to follow his example.
His simple grandeur evokes late mannerism, coupled with swirls and rounded features that return to classicism as well as recalling some Moorish structures.
Who else could have designed the Arcadia-meets-Disneyland that is the Park Güell? (see above and below). He said that “colour in architecture must be intense, logical and fertile.”
This is, cliché though it be, the definitive biography, by an expert in architecture and someone with an emotional bridge to Gaudí that can enlighten even though the man and his life were somewhat elusive.
Hensbergen writes: “Gaudí is a very contemporary figure-holistic, spiritual and astonishingly original…Looking at Gehry’s Guggenheim – heavily influenced by Gaudí’s fluid use of space – we see just how far ahead of his time Gaudí was.”[Colour photos in this article are thanks to our friends, Dale and Colin.]
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