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 Essential Architecture-  Barcelona

Casa Mila


Antoni Gaudi




1905 to 1910


Art Nouveau 




Casa MilÓ

Parabolic or catenary arches under the terrace of Casa MilÓ.Casa MilÓ, better known as La Pedrera (Catalan for 'The Quarry'), is a building designed by the Catalan architect Antoni GaudÝ and built in the years 1905 to 1907. It is located at 92, Passeig de GrÓcia ('passeig' is Catalan for promenade or avenue) in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was built for Roger Segimon de MilÓ. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Works of Antoni GaudÝ".

The building does not have any straight lines. Most people consider it magnificent and overwhelming -- some say it is like waves of lava or a sand-dune. This building seems to break our understanding of conventional architecture. The most astonishing part is the roof with an almost lunar appearance and dreamlike landscape.

The building can be considered more of a sculpture than a regular building. Critics remark on its detachment from usefulness, but others consider it to be art. The Barcelonese of the time considered it ugly, hence the "quarry" nickname, but today it is a landmark of Barcelona.

Casa MilÓ was a predecessor of some buildings with a similar biomorphic appearance:

the 1921 Einstein Tower in Potsdam, designed by Erich Mendelsohn
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
Chapelle Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp, France, designed by Le Corbusier
the Hundertwasserhaus and other words by Austrian architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser
Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, by Frank Gehry
Free exhibitions are often held on the first floor, which also provides some opportunity to see the interior design. There is a charge for entrance to the apartments and roof.

Casa Mila is structurally interesting, but the inside of the apartment that visitors are allowed to tour is without interest. It is still furnished with Victorian furniture and appliances. The apartment has a dry Victorian feel, with none of the Art Nouveau beauty of Casa Batllˇ.

The apartment that is open for visitors is directly below the sub-roof floor. This level shows the beautiful masonry parabolic arches that Gaudi used to hold up the roof and which probably provide structural support for the rest of the building.

Perhaps the most famous feature of Casa Mila is the roof and the sculptured chimneys. The chimneys have the look of helmeted Greek warriors or the imperial guards in the Star Wars movies. There are also several tiled and stuccoed sculptured forms that house the stairwells, giving the roof a playful feel that the rest of the building lacks.