Working chimneys on the rooftop of Casa Mila, Barcelona. The building was constructed in 1906-1912 by Antoni Gaudi, on the border then separating Barcelona from Gracia. The industrialist Pere Mila and his wife Roser Segimon lived on the main floor and turned the rest into apartments.
Gaudi built two blocks of apartment houses with independent entrances, arranged around large interior patios. The buildings share a single facade, with the structure resting on pillars, rather than weight-bearing walls. Gaudi's innovative design was lauded for both its functional and ornamental aspects, breaking with architectural styles of the period.
As Casa Mila's facade resembles carved rock, the locals nicknamed the building La Pedrera, meaning stone quarry. In 1984, UNESCO assigned Casa Mila its World Heritage status.
In 1986, Caixa Catalunya purchased the building and began restoration. In 1996, La Pedrera was opened to the public as a cultural center. Currently, it is headquarters to Caixa Catalunya's Social Work division, as well as four other foundations.
The terrace roof contains badalots (staircases), ventilation towers and chimneys. Some are covered with trencadis, or broken pieces of ceramic. The elements less visible from the street were simply roughcast and painted. The undulating ballustrades conform to the shape of the facade, as Gaudi sought harmony between the facade's rhythms and the roof'.
A curvaceous mosaic top to a stairwell.
A chimney stands like a lone sentinel on a corner of La Pedrera's terrace.
Check back later for more photos of La Pedrera and other Barcelona architectural wonders.