Sunday, January 17, 2010


Though I thank everyone for voting, it seems that the poll may have been irrelevant, as I have now been to three of the four sites, and am all queued up to visit Nou Camp for a future contest.  The voters were right for recommending La Sagrada Familia; it was simply stunning, and by simply I  mean the most intricately and elegantly designed structure I have ever stood beneath - and it was a construction site. All I can say is that in the year 2030 I will be making another pilgrimage to the site, to stand beneath such a fountain of genius.  If I were to see a blind man enter the gates, I would weep for him.  Parc Guell and Montjuic reveal a new side of the city, which I previously believed contained solely a grid of tightly pitched buildings along narrow corridors.  These two parks look promising in that they may provide a needed respite from crowded urban life, to which, although I grew up on the mean streets of Signal Mountain, I am still adjusting.  Both sites also provided an display of the metropolis from above.  The city sprawls across the landscape, however when you pass through the hedge maze of buildings, you know that every utile space has been employed.   Sunday brought a visit to the Picaso Museum of Barcelona. Housing more of his early work, the museum presented a side of the artist to which I was unaware, a side that was eclectic, with not even a distant view of cubism to be seen. It was as if it were the work of several artists, not one man.  So we've done quite a job on playing the tourist role so far.  Beyond that I have found a great English Pub down the street where I've been in football heaven.  We did have our first taste of studio work today, but there is quite a difference in sitting in a classroom in South Carolina and in discussing a work that sits before your eyes on the street corner, granting you access to more than just a photograph.  To touch the material of the building itself is a way of understanding the architecture which could not be ascertained  otherwise.  The recreation of the German Pavilion by Mies Van der Rhoe for the European Expo of 1929 was a limitlessly austere example of modern architecture.  To read about something is one thing, but to experience the building as it was intended -to occupy the space that has been transformed by the architect- is quite another.  Another purely architecturally involved venture was the trip to the Shoko Discoteque/Club where DJ Berrie spun mad beats til the sun rose over the Mediterranean. Okay, so perhaps that wasn't quite the architectural experience as say Casa Batllo, however I refuse to discredit it as academic, although you can't teach these moves.  


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