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Bellesguard (1901-1908)

In the upper part of the neighborhood of Sant Gervasi in Barcelona, Gaudí built an isolated house with a practically square floor, with its four principal diagonals pointing towards the cardinal points. The house was commissioned by doña María Sagués, widow of Jaume Figueras.

At the chosen site were the ruins of what used to the the residence of the Catalan king Martí I ("The Human"), in the 15th century. From that time era ccomes the name of the estate. According to Bassegoda, the king cited "Bell Esguard" (meaning "Beautiful View") when referring to the house in a letter he wrote. Gaudí chose the Neogothic style, although in a very particular version, in order to pay homage to the ancient king.

The building consists of a semi-basement, ground floor, apartment, and attic. The structure of the semi-basement was carried out with a series of cylindrical pilars that supported low-profile partitioned vaults. The rest of the vertical structural elements are brick walls and brick pilars on the stairway. But most notable structurally speaking is the solution of the wrought of the attic and dining room. In the dining room a few skinny arches substitute for small beams and above sits a partitioned, glazed-tiled vault just like the one which can be seen in the ceiling of the crypt of Colonia Guell. The roof of the attic holds itself up on a structure formed by 8 pilars - each different in form - with mushroom-shaped capitols made of projecting brick, which serve to support a flat partitioned panel formed by various thick alternating tiles and bricks. From this panel rise false arches (with bases of brick spirals, each one of which sticks out a bit more than the previous).

On the exterior, the building is dressed with local stones in tones of grey and green. On all of the facades are a great number of windows and window-frames with lobed arches which remind us of the gothic style, and also a type of pillowing of square, hexagonal, and octogonal pieces around various hollow patches. These pieces were formed in the ground following the same method used to construct the cariatide of Park Güell: in back of a plaster moulding, obtained after the emptying of an initial moulding of mud, tiny stones from the area collect and later is filled with mortar.

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