Let the Mediterranean Inspire Your Lighting

Article excerpt

Spanish architect and artistic genius Antoni Gaudi took the presence and conditions of light and the effect it has on interiors very seriously.

"Light achieves maximum harmony at an inclination of 45 degrees... neither horizontal nor vertical," Gaudi said. "This is considered medium light, and it offers the most perfect vision of objects and their most exquisite nuances. It is Mediterranean light."

There is something special about how light resonates in Spain, Italy, Greece and other countries along the Mediterranean Sea.

It was always Gaudi's goal to construct buildings that opened their interiors to this precious light. This was accomplished with skylights, windows that varied in size, shutters and blinds, and colour.

One of the most famous buildings designed by Gaudi, for a wealthy Spanish aristocrat, is Casa Batllo in Barcelona. The facade looks like it has been made from skulls and bones. The "skulls" are in fact balconies and the "bones" are supporting pillars.

Gaudi varied window size depending on where the window was in relation to the top of the building. In this way, he could ensure uniform lighting conditions in each room of the house. As you climb the interior stairs in Casa Batllo, there is a range of blues, from very dark to light, dramatically mastering the distribution of natural light as you ascend towards the attics and roof terraces.

Prestigious Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola was commissioned to create the interior decor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Barcelona. Trained as an architect, Urquiola has the passion and imagination of the region, which is evident in the award-winning avant-garde furniture she designs. …