The literature about Guell Park suggests that it was to be a garden city, based on the principles of the British Garden City movement. Guell certainly wanted the project to be removed from Barcelona's smelly industrial areas, but I can't see any evidence of Guell having read Sir Ebenezer Howard's book, or of Guell or Gaudi visiting Britain's existing garden cities. Nonetheless the project was definitely going to look like a park.
Gaudi House Museum, his pink home 1906-25
The Square was to be the civic, cultural and sporting centre of the community. The bench around the Square was completed in 1913, the last building work done. Reflecting the imagination of Gaudi and Joseph Maria Jujol, the structure was covered in tiles, crockery, bottles and broken pots. In fact the dragon at the centre of the decorated staircase remains as the key symbol of the park today. But for me, the multi-coloured mosaic serpentine benches, as seen in the photo below, provided the best examples of abstract-art-where-you-sit!
Part of the bench around Park Guell´s central square
When it was clear that no more houses were going to be built, Gaudi decided to buy the show-home and to make it his own house - the only house he ever bought in his life. Now called the Gaudi House Museum, the pink house has only one room currently displayed as a bedroom; the rather austere single bed indicated that Gaudi's love life and family life were rather bleak. But the rooms in the modernist two-storey house flowed nicely, the bathroom had all the mod cons and the views were a delight.
Among the furniture designed by Gaudi for his other housing projects, chairs have been brought to the Gaudi House Museum to reproduce the atmosphere that Gaudi enjoyed between 1906-1925. The polished timber chairs and settees are still beautiful and perfectly functional.
Gaudi´s own furniture designs
The tower may not be inspected today, but it must have been wonderful in its time. A wooden spiral staircase in the library opens onto a space surrounded by windows, offering a 360-degree view over the city of Barcelona. I would sell up in Australia in a heartbeat and move to Spain for that view!
In any case, Gaudi was offered the show-home in 1906 and he bought it. When the ever-patient patron Eusebi Guell died in 1918, his heirs sold the entire Park to the City Council who converted it into a public park within four years. Gaudi stayed on his hilltop home until 1925.
Parc Güell was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1984.