Daily Dose: Gaudí and Candy-Land

Add to TwitterFor all the radical, almost space-agey, architecture that’s going on nowadays, you can’t tell me we have as much fun with the design of our constructions as we used to. Sure, the new, sleek materials and designs are chic and sophisticated, but they’re a little lacking in spontaneity and COLOR, for goodness’ sake! The buildings I’ll give tours of today aren’t as “hip” (built anywhere from the 1500s to the early 1900s), but their children’s book-appearances are sure to appeal to anyone’s imagination.

I mentioned in one of the earliest Daily Doses (Stilettos and Skyscrapers) that I’d not be opposed to wearing shoes designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí, and now I think it’s time to give him some credit for his fantastical art nouveau architecture.

Roof of Casa Battló by Antoni Gaudí

The radiant image above is the mosaic roof of the Casa Battló in Barcelona, Spain. It leads me to think of the scaly spine of a dinosaur or a dragon. Others get a similar impression – the visceral appearance of the 1877 residence has earned it the local nickname of the “house of bones.”

Casa Batlló balconies and interior staircase

Cooperative Bank Building in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Now, you may have been taken aback by my initial suggestion that we just don’t enjoy ourselves as we used to when it comes to building design. And it’d be easy to look at Gaudí’s Batlló home, credit it to the (presumably) very cool people who lived there and leave it at that. But there’s really no excuse for the blasé when you see a bank like the one on the right. I’d be finding reasons to make transactions at least once a day!

I’ve been saving the best for last. Russia, if I may say so myself, really knows how to do it up right. Well, at least they did in 1555! That’s when the famed St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow underwent construction. The designers of the spiraling turrets and whimsically-patterned towers had no qualms about combining red, green, gold and blue in such a way that you may start to feel like it’s you, not the design, that’s spinning…

St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, Russia; Candy-Land cover

…that, and it looks like it’s been built strictly according to the prototype on the Candy-Land board game box. (Although, considering the respective dates of creation, it’s probably the other way around). Architects, if you’re listening, it’s time for color to make its comeback!

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