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Out there…

2 Apr

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Hello! Did you survive the Easter weekend in one piece? I certainly hope so! Just a few weeks ago, I was out there… out there in the suburbs, off the beaten track, where Modernisme is nowhere to be found, and you can count the tourists on the fingers of one hand (should you spot any, that is). I found it refreshing: just a bunch of stark, utilitarian buildings, no frills whatsoever. At the most, some laundry hanging in the sun to dry as a touch of colour…

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That, and the odd piece of street art, among which a ‘classical’ piece by El Pez and a gorgeous smoking guy (at the top) as well as the radiant heart above. I like it out there… I’ll be going back to explore some more, and of course I will share my findings with you.

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Strong lace

1 Mar
Barcelona Cute Suite Window grilles

Lace or iron?

Traditionally, dainty damsels and pretty ladies were kept behind bars in Spain. The bars of the windows of their homes, that is. Luckily for some, here in Barcelona, those bars resembled strong lace and so their beauty was enhanced even more. I leave you with some of these gorgeous and lace-like window grilles, made from either wrought or cast iron, and which can be found around Barcelona… enjoy!

For more examples of cast iron and wrought iron loveliness, you may like to check out this post or this one. Happy weekend, everyone!

Barcelona Cute Suite Window grilles

Swirly and signed

Hillside views

28 Jan
Barcelona Cute Suite

Steep street with stools

On a Carrer Margarit at the base of Montjuïc, there are some interesting hillside views. This part of the street is so steep, that dotted on its sidewalk are a bunch of metal stools, for people to take a seat and catch their breath, as they make their way up to the higher levels of this small mountain.

Barcelona Cute Suite

Pretty in pink

One such stool stands in front of a house, all pretty in pink and covered in pale green sgraffito details plus ditto blinds, that is only two floors high.

Barcelona Cute Suite

Green details

Swirly foliage and pretty flowers grace the walls of this lovely home and the door is daintily carved with ethereal shapes that merely hint at some kind of flowers. Its knocker, much more voluptuous, invites to tap tap and ask to be invited in to see what more beauty lies in store within the walls of this gracious house.

Barcelona Cute Suite

Knock knock

If an invitation isn’t forthcoming, then we can only resign ourselves to enjoy whatever other hillside views this spot has to offer…

Not as pink perhaps, but certainly not too bad either, for in the distance lies a prize: the glorious Sagrada Familia with its turrets and cranes pointing up to the sky.

Barcelona Cute Suite

In the distance…

Dear readers, I have a busy week ahead, with birthday celebrations and visits from family and friends. So I am going to have a mini holiday and enjoy myself and give my loved ones the attention they deserve. But not to worry! I’ll be back on Monday next week, and hope to delight you then with more Barcelona loveliness. Have a great week, everyone!

Chaflán charm

29 Nov copyright: Lisette van de Graaf
copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

A charming  chaflán

Today I am sharing some chaflán charm with you. Every intersection in the Eixample area of Barcelona is characterised by its chamfered corners, or chaflanes as these are called in Spanish. On one such chaflán I recently ‘discovered’ the very lovely building I am showing you today. You can find it on the intersection of Carrer València with Carrer Bailen. A little off the beaten track perhaps, but it’s just up the road from the lovely temple I showed you not long ago, so well worth heading out for.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Pretty balconies and decorative elements

Just look at the profusion of details and decorative elements that were applied to this residential building! There is no doubt it was constructed in the time when Modernisme was the trend du jour in Barcelona.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Scalloped windows

The different materials used, as well as the symbolism of these and the style are evidence of that…

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Tucked away temple

20 Nov copyright: Lisette van de Graaf
copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Tucked away temple

I recently ‘discovered’ a tucked away temple on Carrer Bailèn while cycling past, and was quite surprised to find such a glorious old building sandwiched between two very normal residential ones.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Starry gate

So last weekend I returned to have a closer look. Here is what I found…

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Mosaics

6 Nov copyright: Lisette van de Graaf
copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Jewelled – Carrer Còrsega

Mosaics are quite wonderful, wouldn’t you agree? All those little pieces puzzled together to make a beautiful whole… In Barcelona we are lucky to have many mosaics gracing our buildings – sometimes in a figurative way, others in just a purely decorative manner.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Pomegranate – La Rambla

Most mosaics in Barcelona stem from the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, when the Modernisme movement was at its peak. It often used symbolism in its designs, such as the above pomegranate images, as well as Catalan nationalism, as is reflected in the Senyera below.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Senyera – La Rambla

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Balcony bases – Carrer de l’Or

Sometimes the mosaic is purely decorative, as it is on the balcony bases in the image above. Pretty isn’t it?

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Shop front – Carrer Llibertad

The exterior of a shop selling electric supplies (above) is a gorgeous example of a later application of mosaics when it was used as an advertising form.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Simplicity – Carrer  Larrard

The mosaics on Gaudí’s buildings are known all over the world, and are probably the most photographed. But it doesn’t make them any less sublime, even when they are are a mere combination of white tones (below). A neighbouring house has also used mosaics, albeit in a very simple form, to add some prettiness to its fence (above).

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Shades of white – Parc Güell

The former bull ring La Monumental was also decorated with mosaics, but in this case, in a Moorish style, with very striking results. Whenever I pass it, I always feel the need to stop for a bit, and admire its incredible beauty.

Today is an important day for those in the US,  as people cast their votes to either re-elect Obama or elect Romney as president. But it is also important for the rest of the world, for just like a mosaic, we are all puzzled together to form a larger whole, and therefore, what is decided in one country affects us all. I hope, that people will use their right to vote and chose wisely!

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Moorish – Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes

Illusions

5 Nov copyright: Lisette van de Graaf
copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

In and out – Carrer Badajoz

If you have been following this blog for some time, you will know that I like reflections. And I like them even more, when they create optical illusions, such as the ones I have in store for you today!

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Seeing double – Carrer Ciutat de Granada

Pretty amazing how shifting your focus on the same buildings I showed you in last Friday’s post, you can see such very different things. Which do you prefer, the corners, or the illusions?

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22@ corners

2 Nov Lisette van de Graaf
Lisette van de Graaf

Stripes – Carrer Badajoz

While in Poble Nou recently, I not only discovered what I have shown you in previous posts, but also found that 22@ corners can be varied and very interesting.  Here, see for yourself…

Lisette van de Graaf

Corners upon corners – Carrer Ciutat de Granada

How many corners can you discover at this corner staircase (above)? And what do you think of this flattened, mesh-covered corner below?

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Art at 22@

30 Oct copyright: Lisette van de Graaf
copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Fundació Vila Casas

Amid the old industrial and the new architecture of Poble Nou, there is art at 22@. On Carrer Roc Boronat 116-126, in a converted factory that was in disuse for many years, and surrounded by leafy trees, lies Can Framis, a museum dedicated to contemporary Catalan art, and which is part of the Fundació Vila Casas.

A wonderful combination of old and new, the museum was opened in 2009 and has around 300 pieces of art, dating from the 1960’s onwards, on permanent display. White-washed walls from the old factory building, with its former windows and doors closed off, and new additions in raw concrete with visible seams, create an elegant, almost bunker-like whole that is punctuated with large, reflective window panes, which mirror the lush green and new architecture that surround it.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Media-TIC reflected

Within, a large and bright courtyard boasts a weighty sculpture and offers workers of the 22@ district a calm space to while away their lunch break while reading or sunning themselves in such beautiful and minimal surroundings. Check out the slideshow for more images…

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Shadows and light

29 Oct copyright: Lisette van de Graaf
copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Dotty at Media-TIC – Carrer Sancho d’Àvila

Shadows and light and the effects they have on their surroundings fascinate me, and I generally look around me for their projections. As today is Halloween, I thought it appropriate to share a few new ones with you that I found recently.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Shedding light on the neighbors – Carrer Sancho d’Àvila

I discovered them all at the 22@ district, among the various office buildings (and a certain museum) and are pretty interesting. If only for their size. Notice how on the two buildings below there are both shadows and lights projected? It’s as if the two are communicating with each other using a non-verbal method…

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