28 December, 2007


barcelona's vale enough...but nothing beats good old lexington, sc

ps. why are you guys still posting stuff?
why am i even posting this?

24 December, 2007

i miss barcelona

i think the title says it all

18 December, 2007

when the world came to gander

due to a generator malfunction in one of our engines, the continental flight that maria, christa, and i were on was grounded at Gander international airport in newfoundland, canada. we thought itd be about an hour before we were on our way to newark...but we ended up staying around 4 hours at the airport. that night we stayed at the sinbad hotel in gander (population 12,000) and flew out around 1:30 the next day. it was mildly inconvenient....especially since we had to take all our checked luggage off and then back on the plane. but, i cant complain, seeing how 36 or 38 planes were grounded in gander on 9/11. the town got 6,000 unscheduled guests on one day. i didnt see it, but i was told that there was a book in the airport giftshop about the incident called "when the world came to gander". pretty crazy.

i concur

i agree with whit

16 December, 2007


it is weird over here. weird in the being different sort of way.

fy(last minute)i

give yourself some time to pack. i just pulled an all nighter doing it (and watching part of a movie...whatever)...but it takes a while. its currently 7:15 am and i gotta leave here at 8 to get back to the good ole US of A...so i will blog with you later!

parking under plazas

who knew??!! well, this is another diagram used for tyler's and my presentation on the plazas of Gracia. im still baffled as to why the colors invert. im pretty sure im the only one who has that problem. oh well.

barcelona sights and sounds

here is a mapping exercise i did as part of our plaza reasearch for Katrin's class. i dont know how the quality will be...but i think its rather accurate.

mies vale

after an unfortunate series of events (55 euro tickets ...one way) we were forced to cancel our brief trip to carcassone, france. we used our extra day in barcelona to check our the MNAC and German Pavilion up around Montjuic. i gotta say, france would've been fun...but im really glad i got to do this too.

what bcn could use

stricter laws regarding dogs.

i guess i'll have some fun too

hmmm...what to say about good old BCN...

well, definitely see stuff early as Tyler said. go to the beach a lot. get a simosa (sp?) from spar4 whenever you get hungry during all nighters. 1 euro and MUY vale. put personal information about the people in your group the on your data card the first time you do it. juan carlos will love you for it. go to monserrat. carrefour on the rambla has all the groceries you could want. well...i gotta stretch these..so ill end here for now. adios!

12 December, 2007

More Fun

Packing is going easier than I expected and in order to avoid jetlag I must stay up the entire night before my 7AM flight. So, I will blog more!

These are my top reccomendations (not in any order) for those studying here next semester:

1.) DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, EAT ON THE RAMBLAS. I have the scars to prove it, my meal wasn't quite worth 30 euros!!

2.) Catalonia is not Spain.....nor is it beer country! Estrella is the worst beer you will ever have (unless you like bitter aftertaste), and San Miguel isn't too hot either. Your best bet for local brew is Voll Damm, but it will cost a bit more and you won't find it in draught at any bars/restaurants.

4.) You know that list you've been making over the summer, about what weekend trips you want to make? Throw it away, you're not going to have the time. Besides, the independent travel (and the days after classes end should you choose to travel during that period) is plenty of Europe seeing and all that your bank account can handle.

5.) Charter and other supermarkets are your best bet for food, RAIMA and Servei Estacio for supplies. Doner Kebap / A La Turka, Chinese place nearby, Casa Sergi, Pans, Bocatta, and best of all the Sushi buffet on Via Laetana are your best bet for cheap eats, all ranging from 6-8 euros total. Look for menus del dia!

6.) Say no to hachis!!!

7.) You don't actually need to know any Catalan. Like, at all. But if you know what's good for you, learn some Spanish!

8.) The old security guard hates you, no matter what.

9.) Communication with your studio teacher will be difficult: be sure to remind him constantly that you do not attend Texas A&M university.

10.) Lastly (and I mean this very sincerely) do not be intimidated by Barcelona's metro system! It is an excellent subway and a great means of getting to all of the spots in the city. Yes, European cities are very walkable but it's not worth it walking 1 1/2 hours to Parc Guell! Get a T-10 card as soon as you get here, and use it to get to all the sights. Do as much as you can in Barcelona your first few weeks because the free time doesn't last long!!!!


So I was in Holland yesterday, I'm in Barcelona now and tomorrow I'll be in America. Three countries in three days (four if you count our layover in Frankfurt). So it feels wierd......with that I will post something weird.


Thank you for letting me share that. If I didn't see you or see much of you in the past day, thank you for being awesome classmates/teachers whatever this semester and hope to see you next semester/at some point!

10 December, 2007


Finishing off the semester here in Barcelona, we decided to attend the FCB vs. Deportivo game. It was unbelievable. Dannielle, Will, Dave, and I got tickets weeks ahead of time and we have been anticipating this game for days. We were so excited. Will, Dannielle, and I decided to show out Barcelona spirit and buy jerseys to wear to the game. Dave also showed his spirit by wearing an FBC scarf to the game. When we got to the stadium, we did not know what to expect. The stadium was huge and the field was unbelievable. The game started, and not but 2 minutes into the game, Deportivo scored a goal. It was really scary because we were not sure what the outcome of this game was going to be. Later in the game, Barcelona ended up scoring two goals, and winning the entire game as a result. The stadium went crazy went they scored. It was so much fun. That night, I felt like I was from Barcelona and supporting my home team.

Seeing EUROPE through the soles of my SHOES

As many people know, I great obsession with shoes. I love shoes and I go in every shoe store I come across. For my final ARCH 416 project, I thought about making the project more personal and adding in the concentration of my great obsession. Then I was deciding how I was going to correlate this theme with architecture during my journey. I have always found an interest in the great concept of form follows function. Since we learned it on the first day of architecture, I have thought about that concept with the majority of buildings I have studied. I always ask myself why the architect did what they did. So relating this to shoes, I thought about how shoes also follow this concept of form follows function. Obviously you wouldn’t buy high heels to run in. You buy a type of shoe depending on what you are going to be doing while wearing them. So during my journey through Dublin, Brussels, and Amsterdam, I studied certain buildings on my list and considered the concept of form follows function. For my final project, I made a book that starts off with an analysis of some of the shoes I encountered on my trip (and wore myself). Then the book goes into detail on some of the buildings I studied along the way. I closely examined what purpose each part of the building serves, while also stopping to look at some shoe shops along the way.

last project, hurray!

For my final assignment I plan to convey the totality of my experience on my study travel through the medium of film. The cities I visited and studied include Dublin and Cork in Ireland, and Amsterdam, Utrecht, and Rotterdam in Holland. I plan to observe the similarities and differences between each city’s architecture, densities, movement through the city, and the over all mood conveyed by the city.

It was interesting to see how pieces of architecture influenced and played a part in the surrounding city. In Amsterdam there were some film exhibitions and museums that influenced my decisions in certain parts of my video. I hope to be able to share with others the overall feelings I got for the cities I visited, and I hope that this will be shown through the contemporary and historic architectural elements in the city.

Movement was another important aspect that could be best displayed through film. I believe one’s movement through a city is also characterized by amount (lack or abundance) or light. Buildings, city planning, and public spaces can affect the amount of light at any given time. Movement through a city fabric can be affected by this accordingly. Lighting for me affects many things in my life. Lighting can set a mood, alter a view, or change completely our expectations for something. This is why I feel that film is a great way to portray the impact of certain architectural influences that compose each city. This may change from city to city considering different natural lighting and different lighting conditions affected by a city’s density. I planned to make observation on how new elements within older cities influenced this.

5 More Things: an addendum

I couldn't help but add 5 more things to the "wish someone told me this" list!

5) Never eat on Las Ramblas unless you've come to sample some of Spain's legendary microwave cookery. Turn down bread at Quinze Nits- it's not worth the cost. Also, on bank holidays the Japanese Buffet on Via Laietana doubles its price.

4) "Chequenta" and "Muy Vale" are not examples of correct Spanish and may irritate the waiter, but maybe if enough people use it we can start a new trend.

3) Bicing is great, but make sure your bike locks properly or you become liable for stealing a bicycle. Also, know that Bicing bicycles are a lot like my projects after an all nighter- you never know just what you're going to get.

2) Nerd Tip: Vodafone, Orange, and Movistar are all ridiculously expensive. The only cheap phone provider is Yoigo, but "The Phone House" will try to tell you they don't sell it, or that they do sell it but only for residents of Spain. Your best bet is to grab a flyer and point to it and call them a liar.

1) When informing a prostitute you do are not interested in their services, a reason for your decision is expected.

Atocha Train Station (Madrid)

The Atocha Train Station in Madrid has a fabulous interior. An enormous interior garden and nice cafe's make the station a place to hang out as well as run through to catch a train. However, the station itself is somewhat distant from the pedestrian on the exterior.

Calatrava Land

Perhaps the best combination of Calatrava's crazy architectural style can be found at the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia. I gotta say, the buildings are fantastic on the outside. When you walk through them, however, you see the personal details that were neglected....which is unfortunate for such unique structures.

alhambra sketches

The Alhambra is one of the most magnificent places I've been. The ornament and attention to detail is truly amazing. In my sketches I wanted to show how the designers layered their ornament in a way that draws attention upwards. Columns, walls, and other connections to the ground are generally uncelebrated, while the ceilings were fantastic.
I have no idea why the blog insists on inverting the colors of everything I put on it from Photoshop, but this is my Sagrada Familia case study. Its probably my favorite composite that I've done due to the fact that I spent so much time on it...and it does have a point. The point being that the open space, light, and ornament in the temple cause visitor's eyes and thoughts to drift Heavenward.

09 December, 2007


yep...i picked this bad boy up in Amsterdam.

Monumental Letdown

Calatrava's bridge in Sevilla, Spain is meant to be a grand architectural and engineering marvel. Granted, the bridge is fantastic when viewing it from a distance; but obvious structural damage, poor lighting, and disrepair unfortunately prevent the bridge from living up to its initial grandiose appearance.

05 December, 2007

15 Things to Know

This is my last post and I think it fits that it be on the practical things I've learned about living in Barcelona as an arch. student as well as knowledge that would be very useful for future students here.

Yes, much of this information is subjective.

Yes, some of this debunks what we were told (go to Corte Ingles, Workcenter)

I think it would be really neat (as if we read eachothers posts until afterwards) if we all put in a few words of advice and told those coming in the spring to look if they want.

15 Things I know now:

1. Do not go to Corte Ingles. FNAC, Carrefour, and Hardware shops have what you need.

2. Carrefour and the markets are your best grocery bet. But the grocery store away from the rambla (on Nou de la Rambla) carries Texas BBQ pringles.

3. There's a reason "Study" is before "abroad." You will see far more of your computer than Barcelona.

4. Yes, your dormitory building is located within a block of a 24-7 hooker area

5. Accept that the Barcelona Port-Rambla area wins the awards for sketchyness, PDA, and overall public inebriation.

6. For girls, Burkhas are not a bad idea. Learn: "Dejame en paz", "Ve te" and walk fast.

7. UPC's library and printing center are just as easy to get to as workcenter; Line 3 all the way up to Universitaria. Building A, down the stairs on left (thanks Tyler) Did I mention ONE FIFTH OF THE PRICE of workcenter?

8. FNAC requires a passport for credit card transactions.

9. Two great deal restaurants: Quinze Nits in Placa Reial, get there early, All you can eat sushi near Via Laietana and the port

10. Security guards: Old guy will getcha! Julia is a sweetheart and a talker (Spanish only).


12. Don't bring heels or shoes without grips.

13. Yes, that yelling woman needs to be taken out.

10. Doner Kepab beats Beezers any night.

11. See as much of Barcelona and Europe early!

12. Get ready for "Wow! Densities" "This is my urgency" "Talking about..." and innapropriate references.

13. JC is an idea volcano. If you walk around the lava you're going to get burned and covered with more lava. Furthermore, you can't possibly gather more than 1 small lava specimen for testing and to solidify. Also, there will always be more exploding lava. I need sleep.

14. Europe does chocolate, wine, and croissants. America does steak, subs, and candy.

15. Professor Hecker is amazing. :)

03 December, 2007

Arch 416 Final

This is my final project for Arch 416, a stained glass window of sorts (panes to be printed on transparency paper) to shed some light (Get it?) on churches in Venice and Florence, Italy. I found that there was not as strong a contrast between the churches of the different cities as there was between the churches themselves. What influenced the architecture (construction, light, material, ornament, etc) were the styles of the time, the values of that church (ie, Bendictine vs. Franciscan), and the people for whom it was built. These churches did have several things in common: They were all based on the cross in plan, could all name drop some heavy artists, all had lofty spaces, and all were well known places of meeting, worship and reference in their times and often today. They also all have people buried inside them.
"Chiezas" visited: (Venice) San Marco, San Sebastiano, Santa Maria del Frari, (Florence) San Miniato al Monte, San Spirito, San Croce, and the Duomo.
While we of course know these buildings are churches, I liked to take the viewpoint of an alien to western civilization, and try to guess a religion based on the building. I would guess that the people in San Miniato were the most spiritual while the people in San Marco were the most materialistic. I would also say that the vision of God in Florence's Cathedral (the duomo) was of logic, pattern, and science. There was barely a cross in that whole building, but probably a million different geometric patterns. The purist of form was in the Franciscan church (Franciscans value poverty, simplicity) of Santa Maria dei Frari in Dorsoduro, Venice. But even this form was broken by the ridiculously ornamental (and as I later learned, PRIVATE) altars on the sides commissioned by wealthy families. To sum up the 11th-15th century churches/basilicas I saw in Italy, I say that they were monumental: iconic, important, and treasure chests of art. And I'd say the God they worshipped must be huge - and cultured :-).

Also, because I'm not sure if it was linked to already, here is my google map for 416 study travel:

01 December, 2007

Double-Decker Dublin

Maria and I had a great day in Dublin when we decided to take the bus tour of the city. It was a really great way to get introduced to our surroundings, and to get in on a few of the lesser-known facts about the city. On this tour, we got to see the Dublin Zoo, the Museum of Modern Art (a COMPLETE flop besides the park space behind it with a bunch of strange animal warning signs), the Guiness Brewery, Christ Church Cathedral (the oldest building in Dublin), the Dublin Castle, and Trinity College. We had so much fun!

Innane dancing and a weave with a receeding hairline

As stated in our hostel-provided guide to Belgium, "Be as weird as you want. Brussels has always been a city of those who were too strange for other cities." We learned this wasn't a joke when we visited a near-by bar, complete with off-kilter elder and transvestite with receeding weave, who kept whispering sweet nothings in Will's ears, and who let me know she somehow saved me from prostitution. No, I wouldn't call these your ordinary peoples. Thanks, Belgium guidebook, for warning me.

Utrecht and I'm transferring

Clemson, if you want to be in the top 20, quit fooling around with useless projects like renovating the pavement in front of Tillman and trying to keep reflection pool in front of the library clean. If you REALLY wanted to be in the top 20, you would follow Utrecht's example and get a few buildings designed by Koolhaus and other famous architects (like the Educatorium, where people can get edumacated, or the Minnaert building designed by OMA which uses a large interior pool of a water as a thermal mass.) Also, the library absolutely blew my mind... which could explain why I made Hunter stay for about a day longer than he wanted to. It was bold and dramatic, and had about every type of study space you could ask for in a library. It also had really cool furniture, including a hallway of lounges with designer bean bags and plasma screen televisions... not that's a library!

The 72 hour day, or 24 times however many pschizo-alter-egos we're supposed to have now.

This week I learned a lot about living the 500 hour day. While my boyfriend was here, I got to be a student-architect-tourist again when I showed him around Barcelona. We saw the Sagrada Familia, the Frank Gehry Fish, Park Guell, and we went to an FCB game, which was SOOO AMAZING. Camp Nou is the largest futbol stadium in Europe, and the game was so much fun. It felt great to be in the midst of thousands of screaming fans, especially since we missed football season at home. I also learned a lot about futbol and spanish from a 6-year-old sitting behind me, which tells you something about my knowledge base on these subjects. My camera is done, so to prove I was there I photoshopped a picture of myself in there.

Oostelijk Havengebied and what they didn't tell us about El Morrot... (extremely condensed version)

The buildings found on Oostelijk Havengebied are classified as high density residencies. There are 120 per hectare, and 8,000 total residencies on 140 hectares of land. El Morrot calls for 10,000 protected housing units and 20 hectares of park space with only 20 total hectares to work with. Also, the design of these islands called for DOZENS of architects from all over the world.
The Eastern Harbour area is astonishing. While a high density project like this could easily become redundant and boring, this area really captured the spirit of Amsterdam, eclectic, forward-thinking, and as always, very unique.

I think everyone would agree that we've all seen some incredible things during our time in Barcelona; experiences that we will talk about for years to come. However, having always been a firm believer that "people make the place," I've come to realize that my memories of the time spent with my new friends in Spain will ultimately prove to be the unforgettable ones.

I will likely have to refer back to my photo albums to recall exactly how beautiful Tibidabo is at sunset, but I won't ever forget running through the metro with Miki, Jeffrey, and Manolo shouting like soldiers in boot camp, or the time I asked out Isabelle the night shift nurse at the Hospital del Mar, or the 5000 person event at Universita Autonoma where no one else spoke english.

Running Up and Down the Pythod Brigde

So this was my favorite bridge out of all the ones i have seen here, and trust me I have seen a lot. This is the python Bridge in Rotterdam, Netherlands. I was really running this fast up and down it, and yes i almost fell... twice.


so everyone needs to click this link to see Me, Maria, Hali and Virginia celebrating the joyous season!


30 November, 2007

Christmas Decorating

Seeing as it is past turkey day, it is time to put up Christmas decorations. After being in the Netherlands and seeing all the Christmas lights, Virginia and I decided that we wanted some decorations of our own. We decided to make our trip to Cortes Ingles and get Christmas lights for our rooms. Putting them up was more exciting than we thought it would be. Oddly, the Christmas lights that I bought were in a complete circle. Instead of the lights being in a strand, the beginning and the end of the strand were both located at the plug. This made it a little difficult to think of how to put my lights up. With this difficulty, Virginia beat me in putting up the lights. With the combination of Christmas lights and Christmas music, taking a step into our rooms will put you in the holiday cheer.

Schroder House!!!

Since our first semester freshman year, we learned about the Schroder House. We learned about the impact it made on architecture with the abstract planes, projecting roofs, and projecting balconies. Therefore, during our study trip to the Netherlands, we made it a necessity to make a day trip to Utrecht to see the Schroder House. When Will and I walked around the corner and finally saw it, we could not believe it. We have studied it so much and finally we were seeing it in person. It was amazing. That reminded me of one thing I have learned a lot about this trip to Europe. Seeing these architectural pieces and pieces of artwork on a sheet of paper does not even compare to seeing it in person.

A Walking Roller Coaster

During our study travel in Amsterdam, we heard about this bridge called the Python Bridge. After hearing about it, we were determined to find it. The one day we set out to find it, we did not succeed. We walked for 2 hours but it turns out we just didn't walk far enough in the right direction. The next day we set out for a second try. We finally found it. It was about an hour walk from our hostel but it was worth it. The bridge was like something I have never seen before. The bridge connects Sporenburg to Borneo Island. It was made out of steel and looks like a large snake across the water. The way it was built was suppose to make you feel like you were on a roller coaster. They definitely succeeded. After doing some research, I found out that it won the International Footbridge Award in 2002.

Enjoying Barcelona

Last week, the class went on a walk through the city of Barcelona. It was really fun cause we got to see and talk about some pieces of artwork throughout the city. Sadly, we live in Barcelona but we rarely have time to go out and enjoy the city. So it is really fun and interesting when we go on these class walks with our professors and learn about the city. This class walk ended at the beach, therefore, the majority of us stayed there and just enjoyed the beach for a few hours afterwards. We just sat on this sculpture and looked out at the Mediterranean Sea. It was so peaceful and relaxing. It felt really good to see the water again, seeing as I'm from Charleston and I love the water. Sitting there and looking out at the sea made me realized how much I wanted to stay in Barcelona my last week here and just enjoy it even more. All of us get done with our finals then we fly out about a week after that. Some people are contemplating on traveling or staying in Barcelona. That day, I made my decision to stay in Barcelona. I can't wait to see the city even more and tell people of the wonderful place I lived for four months.

Sid Barratt in Nou Barris

Last week, Whit and I made a journey to Nou Barris to study our park for our project in ARCH 412. While studying Parc Central de Nou Barris, we realized that the majority of activities that were going on seemed to be dog walking. It was really fun to see all the cute dogs and it made me really miss my dog. While we were at the park, we needed to interview a few people and get their opinion on the impact of the park on the community. Two out of the three people we interviewed were walking their dogs. The last gentleman we interviewed had this adorable dog. He had been coming to the park for four months cause that is how long he has had his dog. It was the most uncoordinated dog I have ever seen. It would try and chase come other dogs and end up tripping over its feet and falling to its face. At the end of the interview, we proceeded to ask the owner what the name of the dog was. He explained that the dogs name was Sid Barrat. Whit and I found that extremely funny. Now we can safely say that we saw Sid Barrat in Parc Central de Nou Barris.

28 November, 2007

Gobble Gobble what what, arch students can cook too?

I like these pictures, and I hope you will too. I also liked how we seemed to shock Juan Carlos that we could cook and put together a well-presented meal. Yes we're well rounded, believe it or not. Anyway, everyones food and drinks were great! It was Thanksgiving and I was definitely thankful for the friends that are more like family, and the good eatin'! Also - Thanks a bunch Professor Hecker for The Turkeys, White wine, etc :-)

25 November, 2007


So Whit decided he wanted a new look. Since Virginia's boyfriend, Drew, was here, and he has had some experiences with cutting mohawks, he gave Whit a mohawk. It was so much fun to watch. Whit has been contemplating if he wanted one or not, and he finally just did it. After it was done getting cut, we used the gel and spiked it up for the finished product.

Mucho Mac & Cheese

We decided to have a Thanksgiving celebration here in Barcelona. In order to make this happen, each person brought a different dish to the dinner. Will and I wanted to make something we knew everyone would enjoy. So we decided to make homemade macaroni and cheese. Not only were Will and I craving it, but the entire class has been talking about how much they all missed it. We cannot find mac and cheese anywhere here. After hearing the reaction from everyone when they found out we were bringing macaroni and cheese, we knew that we better make a lot. We were prepared for this big task and we planned to go all out. We made four dishes of mac and cheese and one more big dish of mac and cheese plus a topping of tomatoes. If was fun making it and it was even better hearing how much everyone enjoyed it.