The Schoolhouse

Now let’s walk towards the schoolhouse. It is easy to recognize. It is that little building with the undulating roof next to the entrance, by the Facade of the Passion. It was built in 1909 to cater for the children of the construction workers and for the poor children of the local neighbourhood.

Despite its curved shape, which makes the building look quite light, it is actually extremely solid and rigid and it was very cheap to build. The design has been considered an example of constructive genius, and it has served as the source of inspiration for great architects like Le Corbusier and Calatrava due to its simplicity and resistance, and its original shape, functional nature and geometric purity.

Yes I remember the summer of that turbulent year very well. Political and social unrest had led to an uprising in July, and over 30 churches in Barcelona were burnt. Fortunately, the Sagrada Familia was not affected, but both the rector and myself were aware that something needed to be done. So we showed the Junta that there was a need to get involved in solving the problems of the workers in the neighbourhood and in the city itself. We had to start with the very reason for the conflict, which was training and education for the children of the workers.

Yet… I could have sworn the schoolhouse wasn’t located here. Or is my tired old memory playing tricks on me?

(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Diego Laforga Marcos (2013)

Source: Own work
Author: Carlos Marcos (2013)