there are some things
we would like you to
see, and they start here:

A Brief Guide To Visiting the Igualada Cemetery and Other Projects

As Boston's snowfall slowly turns everything outside into a parody of itself, as the syntax of curb and street fade into a single plane, what better time to recall the climate and company of a recent, wonderful trip to Barcelona.

It's a hard city to peg for just one vice. YK and I enjoyed the shopping and the eating (thanks be to Dana for the spicy oil recommendation) equally as much as the architecture, but the work of Enric Miralles (and and pals) was a special treat. Much different when visited in person rather than read through drawings or even photographs in a book. There are many things to do in Barcelona, so please let this be a guide only to a few select buildings-- there's plenty of other things to occupy your time.

The most useful guide for the architourist in Barcelona is Actar's yellow and black aptly-named Barcelona. It has the most thorough listing of projects, providing an address for most or at least a spot on the map. If you can't find a copy of the book before landing in Spain, you're likely to track one down at Actar's gallery/bookshop RAS in El Raval on the quaint Doctor Dou. If shopping RAS' selection tires you out, stop by MAMA Cafe-- equal parts las Ramblas and Omotesando-- for a snack.

You've traipsed through Gaudi, seen the Mies, planted a seed at the Ferrater, guffawed at Nouvel, and tried to forget ever seeing the Forum: Now it's time for the good stuff, arranged in order of distance from near to far.

Mercat Santa Caterina

More pictures of Mercat Santa Caterina

It's a bit of a gussied-up wholefoods-esque version of the Mercat Boqueria, but you can visit Pinotxo for a cappuccino and Santa Caterina is still only a brief walk away.

Although it's walkable from basically anywhere in Ciutat Vella, you can also take the metro to Jaume I. Exit and walk north on Laietana, then take a right on Av. Francesc Cambo. If you miss the market from here you're blind.

Archery Range in Vall d'Hebron

More pictures of the Archery Range at Vall d'Hebron

Now converted to a soccer pitch and the worse for wear, the archery range is actually a pair of embedded structures separated by a road. The landscape forms are bolstered by a little overgrowth, as though the conceptual sewing of building to earth has become, finally, literal and real. Testament to the success of the project is the fact that it sustains disrepair and even transforms it into an original condition. The building comes to us in this condition-- it's idiosyncratic geometry intact but compounded by organic matter-- almost as a ruin from some culture not our own.

Take the metro to Vall d'Hebron on the Green line. Exit the station to the right and up the stairs. Once you reach the surface you will be pointed down hill with a parking garage to your left. Continue in this direction down the hill until you see a soccer field on your left. Ta-da! When looking at this portion of the Miralles prokect, the other half is up the hill to your right.

Cemetery Nou in Igualada

More pictures of the Cemetery in Igualada

The cemetery has fared much better over the years and is in good condition but remains unfinished. I have not been able to track down an answer as to whether or not there are plans to complete the chapel. At the time of our visit a piece of the formwork presumably used for some of the precast elements was still on site near the property's edge.

Igualada is about an hour and a half from Barcelona by train. According to a schedule dated Oct. 2003 the FGC (train) leaves Place Espanya every hour at :06 past the hour and returns from Igualada every hour at :39 past the hour. Check the current schedules, of course, but the trains run from 8am-10pm or so. Igualada is the last stop on the line, so tuck in for a nap or enjoy the increasingly exaggerated terrain as the train nears the Montserrat range. Once you reach the station you can either take a bus to the Poligono Industrial (industrial park) or take a taxi directly to the cemetery. (See it on a map) The taxi should cost you about 5 euros, so it's the best option. Tell the driver you're going to "Cemetery Nou" or "Cemetery Miralles," since Cemetery Igualada means pretty much nothing to a cab driver in Igualada-- a town with two cemeteries (the other one is Cemetery Vell). Either pay the cab to wait or take mental notes for walking back, because we didn't see a single cab roaming around the industrial park on our walk back. If you have a cell phone there are a collection of taxi numbers scrawled on the wall just inside the unfinished chapel.