Gaye Akgül was born in 1987, in Istanbul. In 2009, she graduated from the Department of Interior Architecture in Istanbul Commerce University. After working for 10 years at the best companies of the sector, she established GAE DESIGN.
GAE DESIGN is an interior design company founded by Gaye Akgül. We aim to contribute to the national economy and user budget by providing local products and natural materials in their projects. In order to increase the value given to art and artist, we are designing original and innovative spaces while taking part in various fine arts projects.
I wonder how many people think the adjective “gaudy” comes from Gaudi? Well, just in case you thought it might, the answer is nope. Actually the word gaudy comes from Latin “gaudium”, meaning enjoyment or merry-making.
Enjoyment and merry-making also might come to mind when thinking of the architectural artworks of Antoni Gaudi, a famous Spanish architect originally from Catalonia. His designs are known as the Modernisme style, and incorporate themes from nature, organic forms and complex geometry.
Many of Gaudí’s works are registered UNESCO World Heritage sites including Sagrada Família, Park Güell, Palau Güell, Casa Milà, Casa Vicens and Casa Batlló.
Here are five of his creations you should stop and see when visiting Spain.
LA SAGRADA FAMILIA
Probably Gaudi’s most famous work, this unfinished cathedral is a striking creation from the architect’s imagination. The structure is impressive from the outside as well as inside, and if you can get the special ticket to go up in the towers you’ll get an even better view.
The Sagrada Familia really is a unique building and is worth the visit inside. See the light coming through the stained glass windows for a jewel effect. Visitors can access the Nave, Crypt, and the Passion and Nativity towers with a special ticket.
The Sagrada Familia is slated to be completed in 2032. But if you are in Barcelona before then you should still be sure to stop by. Construction continues daily.
Especially during the spring and summer it is smart to reserve your entry tickets in advance. Get your tickets to skip the line for the Sagrada Familia here. If you wish to climb the towers you need a special reservation, you can get tickets here.
Another famous Gaudi landmark is the Parc Güell in Barcelona. Located on a hill overlooking the city and the sea, the park is filled with fanciful walls, stairs and structures covered in mosaics.
Parc Güell was originally built as a housing development but is now a municipal park. It also holds the Gaudi House Museum which contains furniture designed by the architect. You can purchase tickets here.
You can visit the open areas of the park for free but if you’d like to see the special monuments and mosaics you will need a ticket. Get your ticket in advance here.
A fascinating thing about Casa Batllo is that it was not constructed from the ground up, but was instead renovated by Antoni Gaudi in the early 1900s.
The first thing you might notice about the building is the unusual shapes on the facade. They remind me of bones and animal heads. Look closely to notice the lovely tile designs and stained glass details. Inside is even more fantastic, with curved shapes on every surface. Don’t miss the roof with the famous “dragon back” tiles. You can tour Casa Batllo with an audio guide or guided tour. Have a special visit in the morning before the crowds arrive or see the building at night for live concerts on the roof terrace.
This house in Comillas was designed for a wealthy Cuban gentleman who never got to live in it. It was one of Gaudi’s earlier works, and displays many creative touches that would come to be his signature style. The outside is decorated with patterns of sunflower tiles and the inside has many lovely details. I enjoyed the greenhouse at the back of the house, put in to remind the owner of his tropical homeland. El Capricho is now a museum and you can visit it with guided tours each day. This region of northern Spain is also beautiful with forested hills and rocky cliffs dropping into the sea.
Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera, is an imposing structure when seen from the city streets of Barcelona. Inside the outer walls are two open spaces to let light in to every corner of the building. Get your tickets for Casa Mila here. Be sure to check out the wrought iron details on the balconies and comprising the huge windows and doors. One of the main sights is the roof, which is filled with chimneys in fanciful shapes that look like imaginary creatures from another planet.
Casa Mila also has a night show where the rooftop is illuminated in colorful lights.
Over the past 50 years the buildings of Renzo Piano Hon RA have made an extraordinary contribution to architecture, displaying a mastery of craft alongside an appreciation of technology and technique. With the RA showing a major survey of his practice, here are eight of Piano’s key works, which feature in the exhibition.
1. The Shard, London (2012)
For Londoners, the Shard is one of Piano’s most recognisable buildings. Reaching up 72 storeys above London Bridge, the mixed-use tower has been designed in response to its uses – with larger floor plates at the bottom for offices, restaurants and hotel in the centre, and private apartments and a viewing gallery to the top of the building where its form is narrowest.
It gets its name from the eight sloping glass “shards” which make up the building’s façade. The extra-white glass used gives the building a lightness and reflects the changing sky around it.
The building is an example of how a project can be a catalyst for change. Since the tower’s completion the redevelopment of London Bridge Station has recently opened, along with further regeneration in the area that continues to take place.
2. Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1977)
Piano and Richard Rogers RA were relatively unknown when in 1971, they saw off competition from 680 other architectural teams to win the high-profile job to design Paris’ new contemporary arts centre. The project – which was contentious at its opening in 1977 – has gone on to become one of the world’s most significant and loved modern buildings.
The designs had originally been much more radical – featuring moving floors and giant electronic billboards – but after budgets were cut and fire regulations came into play many of these original ideas were lost. But the main concept - for a building which would be flexible with exterior elements that could be detached and replaced through its lifespan – still remains today. Containing gallery space alongside a library, a research centre, auditorium and cinemas, the Pompidou Centre sits within a large and vibrant public space. Famed for its inside-out approach and resulting brightly coloured facade, the centre has become a Parisian landmark.
3. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2015)
Sat between the Hudson River and New York’s High Line, Piano’s Whitney Museum of American Art was designed to bring the gallery, which had been scattered in various buildings after outgrowing its Marcel Breuer-designed Madison Avenue home, back together on one site.
More than 6,000m2 of gallery space is spread over nine floors while terraces cascade down the outside of the building, giving views out over the High Line and creating outdoor sculpture terraces.
Resembling a stack of blocks, the building responds to the industrial nature of the Meatpacking District where it sits, and at ground level a large cantilevered entrance transforms the area outside the building into a public space.
4. The Menil Collection, Houston (1987)
Piano’s first building in the USA houses the art collection of Dominique and John de Menil. Alongside spaces designed to house their collection of ancient, African and surrealist modern art, the building also includes a picture frame workshop, a studio for restoration and study, and a winter garden.
The museum’s scale is domestic in proportion, reflecting the surrounding bungalows and it allows all art to be viewed in natural daylight though the development of ferro-cement louvres which sit beneath the glazed roof. In 1992 Piano returned to the project to build a separate pavilion dedicated to the work of Cy Twombly.
5. Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre, Noumea (1998)
This project in Noumea - the capital of the Pacific Island cluster of New Caledonia – was conceived to recognise and celebrate Kanak culture. One of the main focuses was to combine the Kanak people’s building skills and deep ties with nature, with the use of modern materials such as glass, stone, aluminium and steel. Using traditional Kanak chiefs’ houses as inspiration, Piano created a monumental sequence of 10 shells which stretch out along the hillside varying in height from 20 – 30m. Connected by a footpath which creates a procession-like sequence, each hut serves a different function – from housing exhibition spaces and research areas to studios for music, dance painting and sculpture.
6. Jérôme Seydoux Pathé Foundation, Paris (2014)
Dedicated to the promotion of cinematography, Piano’s headquarters for the Jérôme Seydoux Pathé Foundation, house the foundation’s offices and archives alongside exhibition spaces and a 70-seat screening room.
Nestled within an urban block in the centre of Paris, the building sits on the site of a mid-19th century theatre which was transformed into one of Paris’ first cinemas in the mid-1900s. While two buildings on the site were demolished, the facade on the Avenue des Gobelins, which features sculptures by Auguste Rodin, was restored and preserved. Behind it a new curved transparent building appears to float above the courtyard. 7. California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco (2008) When it was completed more than a decade ago, Piano’s California Academy of Sciences, signalled a significant development in sustainable architecture. Designed to be the greenest museum in the world, the building received LEED Platinum (the highest green standard in the US) and featured many elements which contributed to its eco-credentials.
The 37,000m2 project, which includes exhibition space, research spaces, an aquarium and a planetarium, is designed as if a piece of park has been lifted up out of the ground. Its living roof undulates into a series of domes marking out the various spaces beneath, and contributing to the natural movement of air through the building.
8. Centro Botin, Santander (2017)
Located in the Spanish city of Santander, the Centro Botín is a space for art, culture and education, and is Piano’s first building in Spain.
The 10,000m2 project is split across two D-shaped blocks joined by an elevated glass and steel walkway that cantilevers out over the sea. The building is clad in more than 280,000 round ceramic tiles which reflect the sunlight and the sea.
“Architecture is the learned game, correct and magnificent, of forms assembled in the light”
Le Corbusier style known as; sharp lines, simple silhouettes and neutral pallets. He is a pioneer of many styles of movement, including modern design theory, and has demonstrated strong ideas while praising modern architecture and design. Furthermore, he still have a great impact in various artistic environments including his art, sculpture, writing, architecture and furniture decor.
Le Corbusier was born in a small Swiss town in 1887. He had a strong influence from his parents and his close surroundings that lived near France. His mother, who was a music teacher and his father was a Swiss watchmaker had encouraged him to study decorative arts at a young age. Therefore, he had studied painting, design and visual arts so he quickly developed his passion for architecture. His eager eyes and hunger for more information, Le Corbusier went to Europe to work, paint and study under various architects. After finally settling in Paris, he and a small group developed the style of contemporary called “Purism” painting. Based on heavy Cubism influences, objects are painted as basic forms that invalidate detail. His Naturmort paintings are made of simple shapes and traditional motifs painted in monochrome and neutral colors.
Eventually, his lifelong impressions were ultimately gathered to published his first book in 1923 called “Vers une Architecture” (Towards an Architecture), which explores his concepts of modern design with describing his detailed architectural principles. This book also known as the basis of "International Style".
After the WW1, Le Corbusier rejected the 1920’s sharp, colorless, futuristic style of celebrating developments in technology and materials. Instead, he emphasized the priority function, clean, modern and modular forms. The houses in this style are simple structures made of completely flat, colorless, steel and glass. Le Corbusier, now seen as a visionary, was mocked by critics and misunderstood by the masses at that time.
Not surprisingly, Le Corbusier was a distant critic of the fancy, handmade furniture and generous details. Thus, he announced “Chairs are architecture, sofas are bourgeois.” At this point, in the 'bourgeois' career, it clearly meant something unnecessary or meaningless, an attempt to the purpose of an object. He states “ A house is a machine for living in” therefore, the interior would have to play its own role. For Le Corbusier, this meant practical designs of furniture with elegant drafts and fine details.
This concept is still evident in the famous LC2 chairs and sun loungers, which are still incredibly popular today. In fact, this furniture style is so effective that the artworks at the Museum of Modern Art in New York are still exhibited.
Le Corbusier's theory still remains almost a century later and the popularity of his designs continues till this day.
Promise, we won't stay silent