More on catenary arches

image

Attics, Casa Batllo, Gaudi, 1904

Gaudi shunned flying buttresses yet still needed to ensure that his buildings stayed up, so catenary arches were the solution. On a tour of La Pedrera I came across a brilliant depiction of how to visualise them as hanging chains:

image

and then, in a mirror, to see how they could form self-supporting domes:

image

It was appropriate that these models were in the attic (which was originally used for washing and drying laundry) of the La Pedrera apartment block, because 270 catenary arches support the undulating roof. There was a fascinating model of the attic, which to my mind looked like nothing so much as an old-fashioned carousel for holding slides. I guess you need an awful lot of catenary arches to replace a handful of flying buttresses.

image

Attic, La Pedrera, Gaudi, 1906-12

To reinforce Gaudi’s focus on organic forms in his architecture and design, the exhibition also contained the skeleton of a python:

image

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Buildings, Spain and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s