PARK GÜELL (1900-1914)





CRITICAL COMMENTARY

The well-known and popular Park Güell was never conceived of as a park, but rather as a private residencial city, according to the Anglo-saxon taste for “garden cities” (hence the English word PARK inscribed in the main entrance).
Commissioned by Eusebi Güell, Gaudí did the urban development of these 15 hectares of land in the neighborhood Salut de Gràcia, in the northern part of Barcelona, in an area called “Muntanya Pelada”, which is very rocky and uneven.
The architect thought of all the services necessary for the whole, and designed sixty lots with gardens, as well as building viaducts, public squares and streets, enclosing walls, and entry pavilions, as well as an entry stairway and the Sala Hipòstila for a covered market (the rainwater gathered on the upper square runs down the columns, and it is channelled and stored in a tank underneath, to be used later to water the gardens). Above, the wide main square is enclosed by a bench-railing that snakes around, covered by ceramic trencadís in multiple colors.

What stands out in the construction is the integration between the architecture and nature, which are always in harmony. Thus, for example, Gaudí respected the natural unevenness of the ground, which he solved with prefabricated viaducts, made from brick pillars covered with stone obtained from excavations. He also took care with the vegetation, preserving the original greenery and planting, among other things, carob and palm trees, wisteria, and rosemary.

For this vast project, Gaudí relied on the collaboration of the architects Joan Rubió, Francesc Berenguer, and Josep Maria Jujol, the builders Agustí Massip, Josep Pardo, and Julià Bardier, the sculptor Llorenç Matamala, and the ceramics of the reputable factory Hijo de Jaime Pujol y Bausis of Esplugues de Llobregat, among others.

Despite initial expectations, the real estate project was frustrated in the end and only two of the sixty houses foreseen were actually built: Casa Trias (Juli Batllevell, 1903) and the model home (Francesc Berenguer, 1902), currently known as Casa Museu Gaudí. Although the latter was put on sale as soon as it was finished, in 1906 it still had no owner, which led Gaudí to buy it and establish himself there until he went to live at the Sagrada Família. Next to these two houses, a third, already existing one, Casa Larrard, was Güell’s residence, where he died in 1918. Then, as the commercial objective of the garden city had not been achieved and the real estate operation had been a failure, the heirs decided to sell the park to the Barcelona City Hall, which opened it to the public in 1923.

Cultural Item of National Interest since 1969.

     
1899 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916
ckground-color: #000000; border: 1px none #000000; visibility: hidden">