Tag Archives: Architecture

Sagrada

Barcelona, Spain. June 2011.

It’s hard to live in Barcelona without falling, at least a little, for the architect, Antoni Gaudí. The first time I saw la Sagrada Familia, it didn’t have a roof. The center of the nave was filled with scaffolding that rose and rose and became its own sort of ceiling, from which showers of sparks rained down as the workers hammered and filed and cut and constructed. The floor was littered with pieces of mosaic that were tagged and waiting to be assembled somewhere in the arches above.

Three years later, I had the chance to visit again. Though it is still under construction, the interior is enclosed and, I think, mostly complete.

Gaudi’s vision is astounding and beautiful. There are few interior spaces so large, so filled with the soft brilliance of natural light. Spaces so open to whatever you hold sacred.

Over Under

Yokohama, Japan. April 2012.

This is how we go. To move in Yokohama is to go over or under; it is a city of overpasses and underpasses, of foot bridges and elevated highways and subway trains. Much of the city is built of land reclaimed from the sea, seamed together with waterways and canals under a network of pathways held up in the air by riveted pillars and boxy beams, a strangely graceful curvature of concrete and metal woven into a future as it was imagined in the industrial age.

Over and under we go.