July 23, 2009

Day 166 : Barcelona

I've met numerous non-architects throughout my travels thus far that have visited the Sagrada Familia and can't stop raving about it. Now I know why. Today I had the pleasure of seeing it with my own eyes, and yes, it is pretty spectacular! Antoni Gaudí was a genius. I'm still having a difficult time comprehending how he was able to design and construct such forward thinking creations, so long ago.
For some reason Gaudí's work reminded me a bit of the research being done by Neri Oxman at MIT. Her design research MATERIAL ECOLOGY investigates the "intersection between architecture, engineering, computation, and ecology". Seeing what Gaudí was able to produce along with research being done by scholars like Oxman gets me pretty excited about the future of architectural design...
One of Gaudi's many section drawings of the Sagrada Familia
Some people may disagree, but I thought it was pretty awesome to see the Sagrada Familia as an operating construction site. Where else can you tilt your head up to see such seductive structures, then tilt your head down to see the many men (and women!) working away, constructing the space right in front of your face. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to see the space complete and empty (in 2026!), but for now it provides a great learning experience for everyone that pays it a visit.

This afternoon I hopped on the metro which took me far out to F.O.A.'s Auditorium Park. I had studied it a bit in one of my landscape architecture courses in college. Seeing it in person was a bit, well, strange. As architects we typically have a vision for how our space(s) will be activated once it is realized. You know, those flashy, photoshopped images with kids running around and couples walking hand in hand? I'm sure that the Auditorium Park does see more visitors from time to time, but what I experienced this afternoon was a more or less abandoned, over grown park.
I did manage to find one couple across the way, outside the park.
From there I made my way over to the Forum Building by Herzog & de Meuron.

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