Last week Martin, Tom W, Liam and Neeltje travelled to Barcelona on an architectural field trip to explore the city and architecture it has to offer in 48 hours…
Our trip stated with a 3am wake-up call, before departing Gatwick to arrive in Barcelona just in time for lunch off the famous Las Ramblas in amongst the locals at ‘Mercat de la Boqueria.’ After devouring the plentiful delights on offer, our focus turned to exploring the ‘new’ side of architecture Barcelona has to offer and we made our way to our first stop, Mies van der Rohe’s ‘German Pavilion’ for the 1929 International Exhibition, more commonly known as Barcelona Pavilion; if only we had planned day 1’s itinerary taking influence from Mies’ quote “less is more” giving us chance to spend more time to take in the tranquil spaces below the delicate hovering roof! Walking past the dancing water fountains ‘Font Màgica de Montjuïc’ found beneath ‘Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya’ we made our way to the home of the 1992 Olympics ‘Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys’ before heading to the coast and Herzog de Meuron’s ‘Museu Blau de les Ciències Naturals’; the dark blue hovering mass with playful reflective surfaces hard not to explore and photograph! After a quick dip in the Mediterranean, we made our way along the beaches and visited Frank Gehry’s ‘Peix Olímpic’ or Golden Fish before finishing the day as we begun in Barcelona by eating too much tapas and enjoying an obligatory sangria or two!
With not quite such an early start, we began day 2 in sight of ‘the old’. Starting with breakfast in the Old Town we planned our day focusing on the work of Antoni Gaudí beginning with Palau Güell located just off Las Ramblas. Walking through the 19th-century ‘extension’ of Barcelona ‘Eixample’ we stopped at two of Gaudí’s works ‘Casa Batlló’ and ‘Casa Milà’ (or La Pedrera), iconic for their flowing facades, colourful mosaics and iconic chimneys or ‘espanta bruixes’ before a short walk to the spectacular ‘Sagrada Família’, still being constructed and predicted to be completed by 2026, a century on from Gaudi’s death! Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and we made our way back to the airport planning the 2019 field trip to top what was a fantastic 48 hours filled with sun, food, drink … oh, and architecture!