Right now I am sitting at my desk, looking out the window of our 3rd floor flat. Our street, Gran de Gràcia, passes below, with a set of Christmas lights strung across the street, which they beautifully do throughout the entire city. Directly across the street facing back at me stands a beautiful, six story, modernist style building, likely built in the late 1800’s. I’ve spent quite a lot of time gazing out my window at this building (my parents and school teachers wouldn’t be too surprised about that). Looking as familiar as the rest, it struck me that each story of the building was different.
The second story, or primero in Spanish for primary, has 3 beautifully arched windows spanning the length of the building. The floor above is much different. It has four sets of windowed doors across the front and a large terrace that spans the building. The next floor up has the same four doors but instead has 3 separate terraces. This complimenting difference continues on each floor all the way to the top.
While each floor is structurally different there is still a sense of familiarity throughout. The intricate façade begins at the intensely decorated ground level, and is unrivaled by the other floors until you reach the top, which sits appropriately like a crown on the head of its king. The floors in between are beautiful in their own, with adornments inherited from the bottom or top floor, having more similarities to whichever it is closest.
Each floor on its own, would not be nearly as beautiful as they are assembled together. This story can be told over and over, up and down Gran de Gràcia, and throughout Barcelona; each building as familiar as the rest, but with its own unique charm, as different as the rest. This is a beauty I have never experienced before in a city. It probably existed but I’ve never taken the time to see it.