Casa Mila (La Pedrera)

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by weetoon on December 2, 2006

Having visited the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell, we wanted to visit one of Gaudí's houses too, the only problem was which one to choose. We eventually went for La Perdrera (aka Casa Milà), as we had passed this intriguing building several times and really wanted to see the unusual roof which we thought would offer great views of the city.

The facade of the building is said to have no straight lines in it whatsoever, and its undulating, organic shape, is further enhanced by the wrought iron plant-like forms which adorn the balconies. The building owes its nickname la Perdrera to the quarry-like aspect of its frontage.

On entering, the courtyard is also impressive, its shape drawing the eye up towards the little bit of sky at the top. The visit is in several parts, and equipped with our audio commentary, we first visited the 2 carefully restored apartments which took us back in time to when the building was new. The first is a bit like a museum, showing all the technological novelties of the time, telephone, cinema and so on. The second one was a reconstruction of an apartment in the modernista style, mixing designer and everyday objects. Remember to look at the interior patio from the apartment windows.

Having seen the apartments, we were keen to get on the roof, not realising that there was a major part of the visit to experience before that, the 'Espai Gaudí'. The roof space, which was once used to dry laundry, is now an exhibition of Gaudí's life and work. I was most impressed with the space itself, with all its brick arches, and surprised at how beautiful it was, considering that it was not on show, but only seen by a few. This part of the visit made me glad we chose to visit this building, as there were displays on many of his other works which gave a really good overview of his style and techniques. There were pictures of buildings that are not normally visited which was interesting. I was fascinated by an upside down model of a building made of string with weights attached which demonstrated one of Gaudí's techniques for designing arches. If you looked in the mirror that was placed below the model, you could see what the building would look like. The coordinate were entered in a computer and it was found that modern techniques could not have designed it better.

The roof terrace was great fun. The surface was not flat, but curvy, and functional objects like chimneys and ventilation shafts are given interesting shapes (owls, helmeted warriors and so on) and textures (broken pottery, marble, even broken champagne bottles).

The gift shop can be entered from the street or from the Casa Milà, but you cannot return to the visit from there.

At €6 plus €3 for the audio-guide, this was excellent value for money. Discounts are available for holders of a current 'bus turistic' ticket.
Casa Mila (La Pedrera de Gaudi)
Passeig De Gracia, 92
Barcelona, Spain, 08007
34644 291 481

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