Take a stroll through any of the buildings designed by architect Antoni Gaudí and you will quickly be transported into a fairy tale world. Dragons and other mythological creatures adorn facades and rooftops; insects, mushrooms and crosses serve as columns and arches; chimneys are warriors and trees; windows are curved, colourful affairs, and eagles and other birds peer out at us from attics above our heads. Gaudí was a bold artist who was open to the stimuli of life and the sensations it evoked, creating a novel and vast universe. His larger-than-life imagination appeals to children and adults alike, and not only because his buildings are beautiful living spaces, but also because they allow us to dream and experience a life filled with magic and creativity.
ABC Gaudí draws on the architect’s infinite universe to take first-time child readers beyond the literal meaning of words, for it is at this stage when the incipient linguistic and visual dialogue they hold with the world is open to endless possibilities in terms of representation, materials, form, colour, and texture. This book is an attempt to slow down their gaze and expose them to these fantastic worlds, nourishing their imagination with extraordinary creations and interpretations.
Texto de la introducción
Dragons, palms, crosses and lizards
Take a stroll through any of the buildings designed by Antoni Gaudí and you will quickly be transported into a fairy tale world. Dragons and other mythological creatures adorn facades and rooftops; insects, crosses and mushroom-like forms serve as columns and arches; chimneys are warriors and trees, and windows are curved, colourful affairs; birds and eagles peer out at us from the alcoves above; undulating balconies sport railings that remind us of seaweed; we are surrounded by sinuous walls and ceilings that evoke the cottage in the tale of Hansel and Gretel; handrails wind around staircases as would the vertebrae of a marine animal; serpentine benches feature colours and forms taken from nature. Everything is possible in Gaudí’s world. To gaze at his architectural works is to be surprised in a million ways.
Gaudí was a bold artist who was open to the stimuli of life, and especially the sensations evoked by nature itself. He imbibed everything that nature had to offer, ranging from the tiniest of perceptions to the spiritual, imbuing his work with all of these emotions. Gaudí was an original; he incorporated the novel into his work without losing sight of his roots and artisanal traditions. His work combined elements that represented more than the strictly architectural — including design and sculpture, for example — proof positive of his status as a multifaceted artist.
We have all dreamt about living in a fairytale house, or that buildings could be painted in different, more vibrant colours; many of us have longed to live in homes with larger, more organic spaces or have wanted to bring nature indoors. It was Gaudí who made this possible. When we look at his buildings we are astonished, surprised and drawn in by the great imagination which gave rise to new forms and spaces, his way with colour and his extraordinary building techniques. He made the impossible possible, and in so doing, he has made our dreams come true. His larger-than-life imagination appeals to young and old alike, to both Barcelonians and visitors from France and Japan. And not only because his buildings are beautiful living spaces, but also because they are places to dream in, where magic and pure creativity reign.
ABC Gaudí is our attempt to offer more than the traditional children’s alphabet book, much the same way that Gaudí went beyond the limits of architecture with his work. Our aim is for children to learn to read and to also travel into a world of creativity, offering them a glimpse of the many possibilities in terms of representation, materials, form, colour and texture, helping them to slow down their gaze, enter Gaudí’s fantastic world and fill their imaginaries with unlimited possibilities in terms of representation and creation.
Learning how to write, read and create with ABC Gaudí will encourage children to continue giving shape to their dreams, in a way that is creative, unique and personal.
Copyright del texto: sus autores
Copyright de la edición: Editorial Gustavo Gili SL