Park Güell is a park planned by Antoni Gaudí upon the request of Count Eusebi Güell, who wanted to develop a stylish and unique place for the aristocrats of Barcelona.

Project – Park Güell
Architect – Antoni Gaudí
Location – Barcelona, Spain
Built-in – 1900-1914

Park Güell is a park planned by Antoni Gaudí upon the request of Count Eusebi Güell, who wanted to develop a stylish and unique place for the aristocrats of Barcelona. The count had planned to build a housing complex that would take advantage of the serene views and fresh air; however, solely two show homes were delivered. Gaudí himself resided in one of them. The park is a popular tourist fascination in Barcelona and is known for its famous terrace and iconic approach, flanked by two Gaudí buildings. In 1922, after the death of Eusebi Guell, Barcelona City Council acquired the land from beneficiaries, to make it a public park. The park became a point of great convergence. Being away from the busy city center and at altitude, this space and quiet haven offers striking panoramic views of Barcelona.

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Park Güell is where Gaudí presents all his architectural genius and displays spatial solutions, architecture, and materiality. It unites symbolism and character, making each decision a perfect union of each concept. It generates both awe and mystery at the same time. Park Güell is defined by a variety of spaces and purposes. The access point is flanked by two buildings that enclose this place and creates a gateway to a whimsical place. In this strong belief lay the potential space of Gaudí. His admiration and affection for nature was not a mere observation but learning in constant evolution that made a difference from the usual architectural styles. Gaudí did not perceive nature as a thing or even uniform but he sought to understand it and all the nuances and expand the transformations.

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The first hurdle that architects had to face was responding to a slope in which the height varied from 150 to 210 meters. Gaudi made this obstacle a great strength, refusing to create more adapted to a plain area for housing and common areas, and using it to generate multiple paths and winding. He conserved the nature of the mountain, maintaining its natural grace and attraction. Strongly resisted creating a uniform field, and put his capacity in pursuit of conserving the identity of a natural outlook over the city. And with the impulse, nature enriches architecture, architecture as one more part in its true order. Also, besides recognizing the essence of the mountain, he used all the components that are rendered. Managed its forms, curves, stone, and displaced the gaps in a barren hilltop and almost without vegetation, he devised a method that accumulates rainwater that seeps through the rocks in an underground tank and that as an advantage to support vegetation. 

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The pavilions are combined into the wall which is formed on the outside and determines the space. Small windows are placed on the exterior and the interior, all finished individually. Each of these areas has a different scale and direction. Both buildings, although very diverse, create variation and complexity own the park. They differ but are corresponding, they are adverse but they pull and create a balance while framing formal access to the park. The staircase is the first component visible from the main access. The square was designed as a Greek theater, to be an informal space for ceremonies, meetings, and social or religious events. But more than anything it should be a common gathering space and create a dialogue among the users. Gaudi captivated the use of unique materials and original forms in each of his works.

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The practice of color in the park is notable. In the first instance, gardens and paths pleasantly designed with flowers and trees of diverse colors convey life to the park.

From the main entry, the park grips its striking image. A natural stone wall encloses the entry area, with two wards of the identical material guarding the gate. These two buildings have window boxes with colorful stones and finished as a fantasy and mystic story. The vaulted roof made in color charms the visitor and gives a picture of what we will find inside the park. This arrangement gives the appearance of rough scales that could be a part of a creature of fiction, and its color was chosen by the chromaticism of nature. Once inside the park, the main staircase lets us perceive the nature of the place. The curved forms, the mixture of styles, and colors bring life to the park.

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Park Güell’s most considerable attraction is a terrace that overlooks the city of Barcelona, enclosed by a curved bench running around it. Mosaics, ceramic tiles, and balustrades are all utilized to design this space, and the warmth of the rigid bench is unusual. Throughout the project, colorful tiling is used as well as whimsical mosaics and exterior treatments. The architecture elegantly contains the qualities of the existing landscape thus becoming an extension of the landscape itself.

Author

Shraddha Erandole, an architect by profession and curious by nature. A firm believer in architecture and research, when combined with design thinking, it helps in strengthening our society and has a positive effect. If not reading, you will always find her sipping coffee and capturing the sky.

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