Gaudi Casa Mila A Modernist Structure In Barcelona
Gaudi Casa Mila is the building in Barcelona Spain. The building is also known as ‘La Pedrera’ which in local language means ‘The Quarry’. The building is the last work designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaudi, it was estimated to have been built from 1906 to 1912.
About The Gaudi Casa Mila
Gaudi Casa Mila was built for the couple Roser Segimon and Pere Mila, Roser Segimon was the widow of the wealthy Spaniard who had returned from the American colonies with substantial wealth, while her second marriage was with developer Pere Mila. Mila hired architect Antoni Gaudi for designing the new home in September, who submitted the design for approval to the city council in 1906, February. The building was completed in December of 1910 and the couple moved in to stay in October 1911, though the other floors were completed later.
Architect Gaudi was a catholic and an ardent devotee of the Virgin Mary, he planned the Casa Mila to be a spiritual symbol. There was planned statues of Mary like Our Lady of the Rosary and excerpts from Rosary prayer, also here are two arch angles St. Michael and St. Gabriel.
After the death of Pere Mila in 1940, Roser Segimon sold off the property in 1946, though Roser Segimon to live on the main floor for her life till death in 1964. The making of neighbouring houses in early 1960 lead to destruction of decorative elements, quite a loss to the work of Gaudi.
It was in 1969 when Gaudi’s work was recognised officially as historic- artistic monument, this helped to prevent further destruction. In 1984 Casa Mila was named as a World Heritage Site highlighting the work of Gaudi. In 1987 work began on the cleaning and restoration of the facades which were needed urgently.
About The Structure
Casa Mila is the combination of two buildings, structured around two courtyards, these provide light to the nine levels. The basement, ground floor, mezzanine, main floor and four top floors as well as an attic. The basement was initially intended to be garage, main floors for the owners Mila and the rest 20 homes were meant to be rented. Laundry and drying areas were supposed to be in Attic.
The building is a unique entity, where the shape of the exterior and the shape of the interior are in continuity. The building roof crowned with skylights, staircase exits, fans and the chimneys are the most significant parts of the building. There elements made of broken marble or glass and limestone coated timbrel, have specific architectural functions. They have become real sculptures, which are integrated into the building. There are handcrafted wooden doors, windows and furniture along with the different ornamental elements and the hydraulic pavements.
There was an elevator for the access in the house except for the main floor. The staircase was meant for the services and Gaudi had designed and added a special staircase for the main floor with a particular configuration.
Architect Gaudi had made an interesting aspect, as he wanted the residents of flats in this building to know each other well so, the elevators in this building were on every second floor so that the people could intermingle and communicate well with each other.