TRENCADIS: "BROKEN CERAMIC TECHNIQUE FOR SURFACE COATING"



Detail Park Guell, Barcelona, Spain

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Although early decorative mosaics or tiles dating back to antiquity,—the first findings were discovered in Turkey decorative and subsequently performed in Greece and Rome—, the origin of trencadis, which has a more contemporary type, dates back to the architect and master Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926), who in the early twentieth century to see the remains of pottery piled on a work and that they would be discarded by manipulation, immediately thought of recycling them for use.

Casa Milá, "La Pedrera", Barcelona, Spain
overhead view of the Casa Mila (worldwide known as La Pedrera), designed by Antoni Gaudí. The architect introduced in La Pedrera numerous techniques and materials that had already employed at Casa Batllo,-her neighbor on the Paseo de Gracia, such as stone, wood, metal, ceramics, or drawings as decoration in plaster roofs, La Pedrera is a real sculpture itself.

The interesting and laborious Trencadís technique, which in Catalan means "brittle or mosaic ', also' cracked or broken," is a broken pottery technique used for surface coating, especially in architecture: facades, parks, gardens , bridges, benches, designs, logos, interiors, bathrooms, no doubt the technique brings great beauty to the works, while more resistant over time.


above Trencadís detail in badalots or ladder exits the roof of La Pedrera, Gaudi, the 'Builder 900', as called himself Le Corbusier in 1957, was of their constructions Trencadís technique in different shades, monochrome ceramic in some cases, mostly in bright colors, personal stamp on each of his works.

Maximum exponent of the Art Nouveau and Art Nouveau architecture, Gaudí used the vivid color and intense Trencadís in his work, which offered itself a durable shell to withstand the elements for a long time. Very common in their work, such as resistant material came to life and became the undisputed hallmark of organic architecture inspired by nature.

Detalle Parque Güell, Barcelona
above, detail of Park Guell. The items in the top section white ceramic coffee cups are arranged face down used by Gaudí and Jujol as decoration, the Church of La Sagrada Familia, still under construction, in the background, below, detail of another of the chimneys La Pedrera where we will see the tops of bottles and broken glass.

Detalle de las chimeneas, Casa Milá (La Pedrera)


The Catalan modernist architect Josep Maria Jujol (1879-1949) collaborated with Gaudí on some of his most representative works such as Casa Batllo, Park Guell and Casa Mila (La Pedrera), using this interesting technique laborious and Trencadís craft. The traditional technique used by Gaudí and Jujol was to select and break ceramic fragments for uniform sized pieces, no more than 8 or 10 inches, which were united with mortar (mortar composed of lime, sand and water).


above, two beautiful images of Parque Guell. The interesting project, which wanted to create a garden city and opened its doors in 1926-year coincided with the death of the famous architect, perhaps Gaudi's works that best lent itself to decoration this ceramic technique, as demonstrated in the Hypostyle Hall and the winding banks seamless upper plaza located in the offering wonderful views of the city of Barcelona and so beautifully decorated.

Detail Milá House (La Pedrera), Barcelona, Spain, by jmhdezhdez

above, another nice touch from the chimneys of La Pedrera helmets reminiscent of the old medieval warriors. On the roof of La Pedrera monumental where Gaudí was able to express all his art at its best, combined Trencadís ceramic decoration with lime and painted some chimneys and cooling towers. The brightly colored Trencadís used by Gaudí in architecture itself shines when the sun's rays are projected onto it, making it certainly a very special material.

Some phrases of Antoni Gaudí in relation to Trencadís:

"A handful have to be put, if not, we will not end ever. »
"The inhabitants of the Mediterranean countries Bathing Beauty felt more acutely»
"The colors used in architecture have to be intense, logical and fertile. »
"Every work of art should be enticing and for being too original if you lose the quality of seduction, there is no work of art '
"The architect of the future will be based on the imitation of nature, because it is the most rational, durable and economical of all methods»




The natural continuation of Trencadís applying it since its inception in 1970 the famous Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava (* 1951). The difference between the two in terms of this technique is that Gaudí used vivid colors in their work, while Calatrava uses color pure white above all, sometimes also cobalt blue color. The big plastic works of Calatrava, accented with ceramic coating of Trencadís in white, makes his architectural works in real sculptures in themselves.

CAC Valencia, by jmhdezhdez
above, the image of the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, designed by Santiago Calatrava. In addition to its architecture, Calatrava always tries to introduce Trencadís in different architectural elements of his works below, first figure a way out of vents in the Umbracle-called-Sculpture Walk, which has been decorated in blue Trencadís cobalt.

Alameda, City of the Arts and the Sciences of Valencia, Spain

Trencadís technique employed by Calatrava given in white-improved technique for producing this material with the passage of time which saves time and costs, consists in the application of cloths (a mesh of fiberglass) of 1x1 meter onto a tack coat, this mesh is covered with irregular ceramic pieces that adapt to any type of curved surface, perfect for both building facades to cover all surfaces and curves of complex geometry, however, the picture broken ceramic coating is almost invisible from a distance or middle distance.

Detalle del trencadís, Auditorio de Tenerife, Islas Canarias, España
above Trencadís detail Tenerife Auditorium plaza level. The huge building was coated mostly with Trencadís technique, except the two terraces and bottom of the crowning dome held in concrete; below, stunning Auditorium at sunset image with the first night lights.

Auditorio de Tenerife, Canary Island, Spain, by jmhdezhdez

Very good examples of the use of the technique of Trencadís in Postmodern Architecture of Calatrava can be admired in all its glory at the Auditorio de Tenerife or the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia. "The move gives another dimension to the way and makes it come alive. Instead of conceiving the building as a mineral or rock, I compare it to the sea and the waves in motion or with a flower whose petals open at dawn. "Santiago Calatrava


Trencadís ... Gaudi to Calatrava









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Bach de Roda Bridge
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Christ the Redeemer
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LPW-HH126 Park Güell
Barcelona, Spain
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Casa Milá (La Pedrera)
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References / Referencias


TURNING TORSO - Santiago Calatrava
Bellisco Ediciones, Madrid, 2008
by José Miguel Hernández Hernández
Español - English

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