About Buildings + Cities
Luke Jones & George Gingell Discuss Architecture, History and Culture
1 year ago

104 — Antoni Gaudí 5 —Güell Projects

In this penultimate episode of our series on Antoni Gaudí, we dicussed projects he developed in his later career for Eusebi Güell. We talked about the Bodegas Güell, a complex of wineries and agricultural buildings in the countryside to the south of Barcelona. This project takes cyclopean masonry, a vast A-frame, gravity-defying stone pillars to create a building that calls back and forwards in time. Then we discussed the Park Güell, a consciously anglophile proposal for a garden city on the edge of Barcelona, where the housing never got built, and out of which Gaudí created a vast piece of land art, one of the most visited tourist attractions in the city. Lastly we discussed the recently renovated Chalet of Catllaràs, another curious masonry A-frame, like something out of a fairy tale with expressive dormers and spiral staircase, built as a shelter for coal miners.

Images for this episode can be found on the YouTube video version of the show: https://youtu.be/vWtYFwhvmW0

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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1 year ago

103 — Antoni Gaudí 4 — Casas Calvet, Batlló & Milà

In the fourth episode of our series on Antoni Gaudí, we discussed two of his large projects in Barcelona. Casa Calvet was built 1898–1900, in many ways a conventional Spanish townhouse with references to the family's textile business into the scheme, and the rear facade with its bay windows and balconies has much of the horizontal boldness of early 20th-century proto-modernism. Casa Battló was built in 1904 on one of Barcelona's most iconic thoroughfares, with some of Gaudí's most radical use of biomorphic stone forms and a fantastical roofscape. Lastly, Casa Milà was built 1906–1912, an iconic apartment building on one of Barcelona's busiest thoroughfares. Its undulating stone facade, billowing wrought iron balconies and unconventional, organic plan made it a cause célèbre; we discussed some of the caricatures it inspired in the contemporary press at the end of this episode.

All of the images for this episode are available for the video version on YouTube: https://youtu.be/ZIrTub-2f6w

Or you can view them on our pinned Instagram Story 'Gaudí 4'

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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1 year ago

102 — Antoni Gaudí 3 — Going Gothic

In our third episode on Antoni Gaudí we discussed some of his work that draws on traditions of Gothic, catholic and medieval architecture. Specifically we discussed his Teresian College of Barcelona, a female residential educational institution built in the rural Sant Gervasi de Cassoles, absorbed into Barcelona in the 20th century. We also discussed the bizarre Episcopal Palace at Astorga, one of Gaudí's strangest works, which we find fairly unsuccessful. We also discussed an unbuilt and sci-fi proposal for a monastery in Tangier and the Bellesguard House.

All of the images for this episode are available in the video version on YouTube: https://youtu.be/iPCrxmud9RI

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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1 year ago

101 — Antoni Gaudí 2 — Palau Güell

In the second episode of our series on Gaudí we discussed the remarkable Güell Palace, Barcelona, a work of total design with an unlimited budget built 1886–8. We talked about the mixture of cosmopolitan historical references, ornate detailing, and sophisticated urban party house that make up this unique work. We discussed the patron, Eusebi Güell, an industrialist and aristocrat with a reputation as a dandy and a supporter of wayward artists. Lastly we tried to make sense of the house, and some of the totally bizarre design choices which Gaudí made in the process.

You can see all the images we discussed in this episode in the YouTube video: https://youtu.be/KW3LkgzVYh0

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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1 year ago

100 — Antoni Gaudí 1 — Bad at School

In the first episode of our new series on Antoni Gaudí, we attempt to place him in the history of 19th-century Spain: a time of civil war, booming industry, declining empire and rapid urbanisation. We talked about the complex politics of the time, and movements for devolution and regional autonomy in his native Catalonia. We also discussed the myth of Gaudí, his status as one of the most famous architects in the world, but also the fact that he is considered deeply uncool amongst architects today. We discussed Barcelona's famous urban grid, and the uneven and contested process of urban growth that shaped it. Lastly we talked about some of Gaudí's earliest projects: streetlights for the city of Barcelona, a set of buildings for the Worker's Cooperative of Mataró, Casa Vicens in Barcelona, El Capricho in Comillas and the Güell Pavilions in Barcelona.

Thank you to everyone for following us as far as our 100th episode!

If you want to see images for all the buildings discussed, you can watch this episode on Youtube.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show.

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1 year ago

99 — Philip K. Dick's Ubik — Gnostic Paranoia

In this episode we discussed 'Ubik' (1969) by Philip K. Dick, a piece of iconic science-fiction set in a world of psychic corporate espionage and dead relatives suspended in perpetual "halflife". Throughout the novel Gnostic and Platonic philosophy exude through perpetually inventive interpretations of advertising culture, psychotic mental states and satire of domestic mod cons. We talked about Dick's fixation on material culture as it appears in his other stories 'The Man in the High Castle' (1962) and 'Pay for the Printer' (1956).

Join us for an About Buildings and Cities Social this Saturday 3rd December from 5pm–late at The Kings Arms pub in Bethnal Green London.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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1 year ago

98 — The Primitive Hut — The Design of the First Building

In this episode we discussed the idea of 'The Primitive Hut' in 18th and 19th century architectural theory. A vision of the first building was used by texts dating back to Vitruvius to imagine architecture's origins. We started with Marc-Antoine Laugier, author of Essai sur l'architecture (1753), which used the image of the Primitive Hut to call for a return to austere and structurally declarative classicism after the excesses of the baroque. We also discussed the idea of the Primitive Hut in the work of Viollet-le-Duc, who was influenced by ethnographic racism and eugenics in his depiction of the origin of architecture. We strongly recommend Joseph Rykwert's book On Adam's House in Paradise: The Idea of the Primitive Hut in Architectural History for an even more in-depth commentary on this subject.

You can watch this episode on YouTube to see the images

Nature soundscape from: https://www.edinburghrecords.com/free-sound-effects/

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

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1 year ago

97 — Richard Rogers' Reith Lecture — Cities for a Small Planet

In this one-off episode we discussed the late Richard Rogers, particularly his Reith Lectures, given for the BBC in the mid-90s on the subject of the 'Sustainable City'. We compare and contrast his rhetoric and his design work, try to decipher his vision for the future of the city, and think about the ways in which architectural culture has and hasn't changed in the intervening decades.

You can listen to the Reith lectures here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p00gxnzz

This is a one-off episode, our first in a little while! Next we'll be talking about the 'Primitive Hut' as voted for by our Patreon subscribers.

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show.

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1 year ago

96 — Andrea Palladio 6 — Venetian Churches

In the final episode of our series on Palladio we discussed four of his great church designs:

  • The facade of San Francesco della Vigna
  • The monastery church of San Giorgio Maggiore
  • Il Redentore
  • Tempietto Barbaro, at Maser

For the images accompanying this episode, check out the video version on Youtube.

We hope you have enjoyed this series! Let us know what you'd like to see us discuss next

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show.

Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us!

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2 years ago

95 — Andrea Palladio 5 — Quattro Libri

Andrea Palladio's Quattro Libri is one of the most influential and important architectural books ever published. We discuss the four books of architecture, covering everything from masonry construction to proportional principles to the temples of ancient Rome.

To see the images as we discuss them, why not watch this episode on YouTube?

Edited by Matthew Lloyd Roberts.

Support the show on Patreon to receive bonus content for every show.

Please rate and review the show on your podcast store to help other people find us!

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We’re on the web at aboutbuildingsandcities.org

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