When you first walk by La Pedrera your eyes take a double take as if your vision is not clear. As a City Planner and part-time architect I was struck by the imaginative use of stone in deciding a residential apartment building. The stone seems to flow from one end of the structure to another. A simply amazing piece of sculpture as well as design. The building was recognized by UNESCO in 1984 as a world heritage building.
Casa Mila across the road from Casa Batllo is not as colourful as Casa Batllo but it has an interesting history.
A rich businessman liked the Casa Batllo so much that he hired Gaudi to construct a building on the vacant block across the road. This building turned out to be less conventional than the Casa Batllo. Every room is irregular. The walls and ceilings differ from one another. In fact the whole building is constructed on pillars and arches together with the use of steel.
Hubby said it looked like a huge lava cave. I agree. I also loved the wrought iron work. This was actually designed by a fella who improvised on the spot. I have related more Gaudi stories in my travelogues.
The main theme the building is known mostly for is the creation by Antonio Gaudi of the odd and unique shaped sculptures/structures on the rooftop. They serve to hide the real functional use of the pediments sticking out of the roof; they cover up the necessary ventilation exhausts, and chimneys of the apartments. The balconies are also very unique in the design and welded abstract look of them hanging from the sides of the building. Gaudi intended the structure to be a dedication of Virgin Mary (later abandoned), and he worked on construction 1905-10. The developer was Pere Mila-hence the name Mila Pedrera, which has a meaning of "the quarrie"
Owners of apartments live in the building and they are required to offer viewing of the sites by a Foundation to allow such looking. Most residence people living there close their balconies, and seldom sit outside becaue of the gawkers going by.
Tourists are escorted to the escalators and see little of the interior except for an atrium in the middle. They go the the rooftop, which has a limit at one time. Ques to get inside can be over 1 hour, and maybe closer to 2 hours. Fee to enter is an exorbitant 11 Euro. Opening times are generally 9:30-6:30, and until 8PM in summer months
I have seen many uses of architecture and art used to make a house, castle or building look "nicer". Here Gaudi takes things to his extremes, especially on the rooftop with the dozens of chimnies in all forms. From the gigantic ones that have tunnels you can walk through, to the chimnies that bring to mind a helmeted Spanish conquistador.
Known by both Casa Mila or Casa Pedrera, located on the Passeig de Gracia, in the Eixample district, it is a fine example of Gaudi's work (along with Park Guell, Casa Batllo and Palau Guell).
A note, entrance is 14 Euro per person.
The photos show:
1. The entrance as seen from Passeig de Gracia.
2. The wrought iron balconies, an art form in them selves.
3. The main entrance door, which seems to have been made by a computerized random size program where none of the spaces or shapes in the door are the same...opps, forgot that Gaudi did not have a computer.
4. The arching vault of the attic spaces.
5. The use of arches that Gaudi designed (and I love the way he designed them, by hanging a chain between two points and letting it drop, the parabolic arch formed was what he used as a model).
You can see more historic and architectural information here:
Casa Mila is among Gaudi's most famous creations, standing on Passeig de Gracia just a few locks away from another one of his residential buildings, Casa Batllo. The house is also known as 'La Pedrera'. The building, just as its neighbour, follows Gaudi's cardinal rule of 'no straight lines'. A deeply spiritual man, Gaudi also included a number of religious symbols in his original design, such as rosary prayer, and statues of two archangels, St. Michael and St. Gabriel, but was forced to exclude them later on in the project following opposition from the local planning department. Gaudi wanted to drop the project, but decided against it on the advice of a local priest.
It's an interesting fact that Gaudi only installed lifts on every second floor - to make sure residents knew each other better.
Gaudi's building's are all scattered Barcelona, but on the Passieg of Gracia there are 2 within walking distances ..... Casa Milla is unique and part of the admission price is access to the roof where you have a wonderful view of the grand avenue. We spent about an hour there and that was enough time to see the building ..... part of the building are now private offices and condo's
After viewing the last three buildings it was back on the Bus to the next stop, which was La Pedrera.
Built between the years of 1906 - 1910, this building of Gaudi's, [now UNESCO World Heritage site,] is a residential building and said to be one of the most imaginative houses of the history of the architecture.
As usual, it is another impressive piece of Gaudi's works. It wasn't my favorite but I still enjoyed viewing his work. Even in the early hours of the morning, there was quite a long queue waiting to go inside and see an exhibition about Gaudi's work.
Admission in 2011 - 11 euros
Opening hours vary
November to February (inclusive)
Monday to Sunday from 9 am to 6.30 pm (last entrance at 6 pm)
March to October (inclusive)
Monday to Sunday from 9 am to 8 pm (last entrance at 7.30 pm)
The place is a great Gaudi tour if you like him. Even if you are not familiar with him, going into this living space, experiencing his ideas, you will get it. The circular motif, even built into the sitting benchs next to the fireplace, will give you a new way of looking at the world.
This is one of Gaudi's greatest works and one the last he compleated before he devoted to La Sagrada Familia. It is an apartment block were none of the walls in the construction are straight and at the time it caused many critisim and ridiculed of the majority average society of Barcelona. One of the biggest attractions is an unsual array of Chimneys in the roof of the house that locals used to refer as the dancing evil witches.
In 1984, UNESCO classified Casa Milà as a World Heritage site.
Casa Mila was build by Gaudi between 1906-1912 for Pere Mila. It has an unusual facade made of stone with wrought iron railings. It's nickname, La Pedrera, means stone quarry, and was given by the people of Barcelona, due to the building's rocky outer appearance.
Casa Mila is one of the best known works of Gaudi and a symbol of Barcelona. It's on UNESCO's World Heritage list. Since 1986, it's owned by the financial institution Caixa Catalunya, but certain parts are open to visitors.
Casa Mila is located on Passeig de Gracia, close to Gaudi's other amazing creation, Casa Battlo. The streetlamps in Passeig de Gracia add to the historic and at the same time surreal atmosphere of the buildings.