August 18, 2011

ONE FLEW OVER PARK GUELL:

Gaudí may have used psychiatric hospital to test designs (Stephen Burgen, 8/11/11, guardian.co.uk)

In what appears to be an early application of art therapy, new research suggests that the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí used the garden of a psychiatric hospital as a testing ground for his revolutionary designs, with the patients serving as his artisans.

The grounds of the hospital at Sant Boi, south of Barcelona, are littered with Gaudí-esque constructions, the most outstanding of which is a bench similar to those in Park Güell , finished with broken tiles in a style known as trencadís that was pioneered by Gaudí.

The relative crudeness of the work suggested until now that the works were copies, but research published in the magazine Sapiens by the architect David Agulló and the geologist Daniél Barb shows that they pre-date Gaudí's signature buildings and were in fact prototypes for features in Park Güell, the Sagrada Familia and the nearby Colònia Güell, all of which Gaudí was working on at the time.

The work is poorly executed, the researchers claim, because Gaudí's workers were in fact patients.




Posted by at August 18, 2011 5:44 AM
  

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