Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Splendour in the Columns

Looking up into the ceiling of the Sagrada Familia
Stainglass light
Scaling an external tower
10 years ago I first laid eyes on Antoni Gaudi's, Temple of the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain.
I remember being totally blown away by the Gothic strangeness of the exterior and by the unbelievable scale of the interior. Climbing one of the towers was like being on a strange roller coaster, where tiny, precise views opened out onto religious motifs, strange and queerly mosaiced turrets, sculptured snails and creatures crawling down the facade, all combined with a giddy 100 metre or so view.
 At that time the interior was very much a work site and still very hollow containing the lower half of the mighty internal columns, which just had bundles of reinforced steel bars spewing from their open, ragged tops.
These columns, which branch and curve like majestic forest trees, are now complete and walking into the almost finished interior was like transcending to another dimension. 
To me the space is breathtaking and totally moving, because it seems so incredible that these columns could have been designed  over 125 years ago and  following  Gaudi's specifications have actually been constructed.
Looking up you almost don't know where to focus because they are so tall and so precisely decorated with mosaics, glass and soft forms that they seem to move and sway gently, as if disturbed by a soft Mediterranean  breeze.

View from rooftop of La Pedrera
Workmen clearing the dust
Side windows letting in natural light

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