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Since architecture school, I have longed to see the works of Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926) because of his freedom of imagination. Seven of his works have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. As the naturalist movement became widespread, it created Art Nouveau and Gardi’s fluid designs – one example is the gatehouse to Guell Park (image at left.) Casa Batllo has a wavelike façade with salvaged colorful ceramic fragments which were obtained from the waste material of the Pelegri Glass Works… he was “green” before his time (image at right.) Inside this private residence, the main staircase has a wavy handrail (image below) which could be incorporated as a decorative railing on a code-conforming banister. In contrast to Gaudi’s naturalism, there’s the more classic European architecture…see this elegant hotel (image at right.) The alternating roof lines could be simplified and used in a new residence today. Replicating Gaudi’s roof details on Casa Batllo would be difficult. Although the design is fanciful, today most families would find it too avant-garde to copy (image at left.) Because of the balmy climate, there are many restaurants with outdoor dining areas. One café commissioned a very interesting exterior partition which sandwiched sea-grass in between two tempered glass panels (image at right.) Many different materials could be substituted between the panels. We started and ended our stay at the W Hotel which has a sail-shaped tower and contemporary interiors (image at left.) Visiting resorts is a great way to get ideas. The poolside 2-person chaises were a big hit (image at right.) I believe there are some models which are mass-produced and currently available for your patio.
Travel Tip: My camera broke mid-vacation, and the camera on my husband’s cell phone saved the day!Published: December 2012