After sunshine on the beach and paintings in Picasso’s museum, my friends and I go back to Park Güell. Fresh air, scent of flowers, and shades are great for us to refresh ourselves after several hours walk. The tour guide helps a lot to understand Park Güell and Antonio Gaudi. It is a little regret that there is no Chinese guide now. The trip will be easy if some of your traveling buddies understand English or Spanish. All officers will remind visitors that the ticket cannot be used for re-entering, but once you get into the park, you could stay as long as you like before the park is closed, so planning the visiting line is necessary.
Following the tour guide, we have a basic understanding of Park Güell. Talking about the origin of this park, it is funny to know that this is actually a failed real estate project. At that time, only a few people could understand Gaudi’s aesthetic value about architecture. Luckily, he knew Mr. Güell, the biggest supporter for him. Mr. Güell was a rich businessman. With his money and power, Gaudi was sponsored with several projects and was introduced to bourgeoisie in Barcelona. It could be said that Mr. Güell paved the way for Gaudi to spread his architectural concept.
Back to the early of 20th century, old town in Barcelona was cramped and filthy. Mr. Güell had an idea to build up a new community to be away from noise and unsanitary condition in downtown. He gave the project to Gaudi and it is was great for Gaudi to represent the belief he always held. For Gaudi, architecture should be served for nature. It was the reason that why Gaudi was famous for his obsession with curve and bend lines. If Mr. Güell wanted a harmonious community with good environment, there was no doubt Gaudi would pull the limits to the maximum to highlight the beauty and nature for this community.
For the famous archive in the park, the stones were chosen by Gaudi himself. The shape of the archive is also called Gaudi’s Archive because it is common in Gaudi’s work. It is believed that the design follows the gravity principle. When you grab two ends of a rope, it will droop naturally. When you flip it, you get the shape of Gaudi’s archive. It is another evidence showing that nature plays a significant role in Gaudi’s work. The shape is also beneficial for solidification of the buttress. Imagine that you stand without any space between two legs, it is easy to fall down if someone else pushes you. However, when you stand as the Gaudi archive shows, you could resist the strength imposed to you more easily. It means that Gaudi not only infused his natural concept to this design completely, but also took practical needs into account. It also reflects that how much nature has inspired Gaudi.
Gaudi build a pink house for himself in this area and spent almost his last 20 years here. The ionroad lead to the main lane is also curve, which combines both aesthetic and religious value. It is commonly known that Gaudi’s passion for bend line. At the same time, Gaudi himself was a devout Catholic and the winding path made him feel he is on the way to pilgrim.
Beside the Gaudi’s residence, there are classic villas nearby. The funny story was that Mr. Güell’s lawyer felt a little awkward when he found not so many people were interested in the new-building community. In case that his boss may be embarrassed, he required two villas here. Of course some people asked why Gaudi was not responsible for the construction, the lawyer answered that he did not want four villas. It turns out that Gaudi had no concept of budget, what he cared about was the quality of architecture only. In this way, would he never notice how much money has been invested. The lawyer bought two houses and until now, one of them are still occupied with the descendants of this family. “They are king of Güell ” I joked to my friends. Mr. Güell was another person who resided here. He even died there. After his death, his family sold the park to local government and re-open as a public park. Mr. Güell’s residence is a primary school now.
Talking about the failure of the project as a private housing area, transportation problem was thought to be the main reason. No well-developed public transportation at that time, and Gaudi refused to improve the public transportation system because it was not natural. It is not difficult to understand from this genius’ perspective after we have a basic understanding of him. Maybe Upscale Güell Community will replace Güell Park if Gaudi agreed to attach public transportation to this area, and now there is no chance for us to appreciate Gaudi’s talent through Güell Park.