The English word gaudy is basically defined as ostentatious, tastelessly decorated, or overly ornamented. Its origin may be from Old English, but some say it derives from the name of the Spanish Catalan architect Antonio Gaudí, whose designs are interpreted by some as, well… rather gaudy.
Gaudí (1852 – 1926) lived and worked in Barcelona. His unique style is imprinted on numerous sites in the city. He possessed a love for nature, which produced a very organic look in his designs. He avoided straight lines, favoring fluid, flowing shapes.
We regularly passed two of his buildings on our way to/from Metro stations. Here is the Casa Milá.
Another location is the Casa Batlló, a building restored by Gaudí from 1905 – 1907. It was originally a residence but is now a museum. We were not able to go inside, but I saw photos of the interior, and it is equally distinctive. I could not take a face-on photo due to construction front of the building. This is the best full-view I could get on this trip.
Notice the skeletal appearance of the lower facade.
The facade is intended to appear organic. Some deem it to simply look strange. (I am a former member of this group.) I am now beginning to appreciate Gaudí’s style. It is certainly interesting to study, especially when one understands a little of what influenced the design.
I will post later on Gaudí’s masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia cathedral. It has been under construction since 1882 (as in the 19th century), and should finally be completed in the next couple of decades.