Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Olympic Parks and Cemeteries

Back in Paris, Heiner had a day where our only group obligations ended at 10:00 AM, and I had no idea what to do with my full day. I have since gotten much better at planning my time though, based on this Tuesday!

Mario took us up a mountain to visit the Fundacio Joan Miro (a museum), designed by the former dean of Harvard, Jose Luis Sert. It was supposed to be the most perfectly daylit museum like ever, but the museum decided to black out all of the natural light and instead light the paintings and works artificially. It is SUCH a waste of a beautiful building, I almost couldn't stand it. Also, we were told that we could not use pen to sketch in this building. Not only were photos not allowed, but now I can't use my pen?! Everyone who didn't have a pencil freaked out, but luckily I have two :) But it was just weird, we've never been told before that we couldn't use pens in a building.

I did sneak some photos because I'm a rebel and I do what I want. YAH!

This is Miro's Mercury Fountain. It was originally on display with Pablo Picasso's Guernica (before people knew that Mercury is bad for you). Now it's on display in it's own little courtyard, separated by a pane of glass from the visitors

Views from the roof

Afterwards, a large group of us headed over to the Olympic park. Barcelona hosted the 1992 Olympics, and all of the buildings and facilities still stand today. It makes sense, why would you tear that stuff down, but what do you DO with these fields and pools after the games?

The radio/TV tower by Calatrava was very impressive. I love how the stark white tower contrasts against a crisp blue sky and the green trees beneath.


After the Olympic Park, Hanna and I broke off and headed to La Rambla to visit the market and go shopping. I got lunch in the market too- I had a freshly shucked oyster (super delish) and a pasta dish with green linguini, baby shrimps, and pine nuts. OH it was good. And the shopping was successful, I bought a new shirt, a new sweater, and lots of socks with foxes on them :)

The Christopher Columbus statue at the end of La Rambla

And a cool sculpture we walked under

Then we hit the beach, and went up to another mall to do MORE shopping, where I had dinner at a super yummy burger joint, and then we went home to pack for France!

Our trip to Nimes started early and ended late, and it wasn't helped by the fact that I'm getting a cold. We stopped about an hour outside of Barcelona to visit the Igualada Cemetery. It was built in the 80's and is actually unfinished, despite being at capacity. It was a beautiful example of architecture blending into the landscape and controlling your (the visitor's) experience in the space.

The entrance to the "River of Souls". The crossed steel here can be taken two ways, as abstract crosses or as windmills, an homage to Don Quixote

Abstraction played a big role in this cemetery. These panels are supposed to represent angels coming down from heaven

The light that traveled down into the space was beautiful. This building is what you'd call a "new ruin"- it had such grand plans to be completed, but bureaucracy between the mayor and the cemetery halted construction and the place lays incomplete but still in use. This area was supposed to be an enclosed chapel, but now it is open and bare

There were two staircases that took you descending through the hillside towards the columbariums. I really liked them, the walls were canted to one side and nothing was straight up and down. Also, the last few steps were not made of solid concrete, but were cantilevered or suspended between the walls, so they sounded different when you stepped on them

This is the area for bigger mausoleums. Wooden beams have been set into the concrete on the ground, I guess to provide a textural contrast with all of the stone and concrete. The walls here are Gabian Walls, which are very easy to build. You create a rebar cage and just fill it with rocks

We were able to get inside the cleaning and prepping area

This is a view of that round skylight from the top. The lawn on top of the facility was originally conceived as a park. The architect wanted the place to be for the community, and not just a solemn place. But no one comes up here except architecture students and snails

For real though. You look at all the plants and think, "Oh, such pretty white flowers!" And then you take a closer look and they are all snails.

We arrived in Nimes around 6pm and Alise and I went out to find a bottle shop for beer. We walked around a really quaint part of town, and found lots of shops and restaurants. The whole group went down that way for dinner as well. On our walk home, we stopped at the Maison Carrée, the old Roman forum. It was so surreal, I drew that building in art class in high school to learn about perspective, and here it is in Nimes. Super cool.


  1. That's funny. I know of two museums just on the campus I work that don't allow the use of pens (center for creative photography and the little campus art museum- not sure about the big arizona state museum. Curious to find out now!). I thought that was pretty common but I guess not! The CCP even gets upset if you use your pencil to point at a photo. Too dangerous, I guess?

    That cemetery is so cool!

  2. That sculpture of mercury is certainly very interesting, especially now that people know the consequences, and I liked the Igualada cemetery with your pictures showing how the light, material, and shape of things helped create movement and interest. It must also have been cool to visit a building you drew years ago, being able to look right at it in person. :)