Panel 10 

Gaudí and balance

“A tree grows upwards, supports the branches, while the branches support its twigs and these, in turn, the leaves. Each of the parts has been growing harmoniously, magnificently.”
Antoni Gaudí

Do as the child Antoni Gaudí, known in Riudoms as Anton de la Calderera. He played among the trees of the Pineda del Sec. The inclination of those trunks, immense to the eyes of a child, suggested to him how to take advantage of that nature to avoid straight lines.

Someone asked him: why did he make the columns of Park Güell leaning? “For the same reason that a large, tired man, when standing, props himself up with a bent stick. If it were upright, it would not rest,” Gaudí replied.

Pines inclined by the force of the mistral. He enjoyed recreating this inclination in his works, such as the columns of the Parc Güell.

The trunk of a palm tree is used to model pillars which will become masterly columns, with the shape and shadows created by light.

The top of the palm tree seen from underneath projects a pillar with its ribs holding up the turn in different constructions. It raises questions of strength, balance and suggests spectacular aesthetic solutions.

The Gaudí Family and Riudoms

Rosa Serra Torroja, known as “la Calderera”, had to face misfortune. Her eldest son, Francesc Gaudí Serra, was 15 when he lost his father. He was a lively, hard-working boy. He knew how to write, but he could not take over the family boilermaking workshop (there was no other boilermaker in Riudoms to learn the trade from). Francesc had to go to Reus to work in the workshop of Antoni Cornet Sans, who, after a few years, became his father-in-law. Antoni Cornet had no boys, only 3 girls. Antonia, the eldest, married the Gaudí apprentice and, fruit of the marriage, was born a boy with delicate health, on 25 June 1852, who would become the artistic genius Antoni Gaudí i Cornet, Anton de la Calderera.