One of the most popular and bizarre works by Gaudí, the iconic Parc Güell and the Mind House are a testament to Gaudí’s genius. The park was originally built as a housing complex but failed. While it failed as a housing site, it did succeed as an architectural marvel, replete with a rocky hill with little vegetation called Bare Mountain, a serpent bench, Gaudí-designed furniture, fountains and mosaics. One of the most magnificent features of the park is the Mind House, which features three floors and an attic with a studded and painted roof.
Location-: Carmel Hill, Barcelona, Spain
Project Period-: 1900 to 1914
Open for Public-: 1926
Architect-: Antonio Gaudi
Client-: Eusebi Güell
Area-: 45 acre
In 1900 Euzebi Guell bought this hill in order to arrange there a private garden city in English style. The areas in the park were designed to be sold for building the mansions and all the infrastructure and public places Guell commissioned to Gaudi. However, the project failed: for those who wanted to live in Barcelona, the park was too far from the center, but for those who wished to live outside the city it was too close. As a result, Güell’s heirs sold the hill to city authorities, who opened the park to the public. It was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1984.
Park Guell has two major sections: the free public section filled with gardens and shaded passage ways, and the “Monumental Zone,” which now requires a timed ticket to visit. This is a garden complex that houses a series of dynamically designed buildings, including Gaudí’s house. Most buildings have the “trencadis” (surfaces covered with irregular ceramic pieces) that is characteristic of Gaudí and Art Nouveau.
The gate of the park is framed with two gingerbread houses; one is topped with the toadstool, the other has a toadstool and a cross-shaped window on the front wall. This house is called the Mind House, which is considered to be in the list of top 10 creative buildings of the world. The house has three floors and an attic, its roof is studded and painted in a checked white and gray pattern. Its primary purpose is hosting a gallery.
Outside the gates there are wide staircase with the fountains, Catalonian coat of arms and a huge mosaic lizard, which has become the symbol of Barcelona. Staircase leads to the top of the hill where the huge terrace is positioned, surrounded by the long winding bench. The park terrace serves as a roof for the hall, embed in the hill, which vaults support 86 Doric columns. The last thing that Gaudi managed to do in the park is to pave the ingenious system of roads, on which future tenants would have to drive up their mansions and to build several whimsical stone arches, which pillars are inclined to the hill under the most improbable corners. Of the seven dozen homes that were planned to be built in a park only two (including the Mind House) were built for the Güell’s money, as promotional samples. In one of these houses, Gaudi has been living with his father and niece for 20 years, performing an everyday walk from the house to the construction place, until he moved out a few months before his death.
The Mind House-museum of Gaudi was open in the building, exhibiting personal property and other private items of the architect, sketches of projects he didn’t have time to implement, and furniture, designed by him for the Guell Palace, Calvet and Batlló House.
In this project Gaudì created a original work of art that reproduce the natural forms for example the colonnade have the forms of tree. On the central steps there is a wonderful fountain , it have a form of salamander. There are a lots statue decorate whit ceramics and glass with bright colours. The unique shape of the serpentine bench enables the people sitting on it to converse privately, although the square is large. The bench is tiled and in order to dry up quickly after it rains, and to stop people from sitting in the wet part of the bench, small bumps were installed by Gaudí.