Gaudi's Inspiration: In the Garden of Antonio Gaudi

Gaudi's Inspiration: In the Garden of Antonio Gaudi

First published: Spring 2012

In the grounds of an old convent-turned-psychiatric hospital on the outskirts of Barcelona, flashes of colour from ceramic-studded, curved benches and the organic-shaped grotto of the Waterfall Cave undulate over the gardens. The makers of these works have been unknown and, until recently, they had been thought to be poorly-made imitations of Antoni Gaudí’s (1852–1926) benches and structures in the Parc Güell. In 2011, an article was published in Sapiens, the Spanish history magazine, by architect David Agulló Galilee and geologist Daniel Barbé Farré which has solved the mystery of the origins of the benches and structures in the hospital grounds.

 

 

The hospital was founded when, in August 1853, doctor and psychiatrist Antoni Pujadas i Mayans (1812–1881) moved sixteen patients from his established therapeutic steam baths in another part of Barcelona to an abandoned convent, Sant Boi de Llobregat, west of the city.

Pujadas’ goal was to change the way that people with mental health problems were treated by providing a house of healing, by way of occupational therapy. This was extremely progressive at the time, when people with mental health problems were frequently believed to be possessed by evil spirits and were incarcerated, like criminals, with no care or rehabilitation.

 

This is an article extract; read the full article in Raw Vision #75