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Sixth form students visit Barcelona on architecture trip

On Wednesday 13 February, UTC Reading took a group of fifteen Year 12 and Year 13 architecture students to Barcelona, to help enrich their learning in the classroom by providing real life examples of the architecture they talk about in class each week.

“After an early start, a smooth flight and a rather long walk to our hostel, we had made it to sunny Barcelona. Following a spot of lunch, we headed straight out to the Park Güell, with most of us not realising what a steep climb and huge number of steps we had to take! Despite that, the views from the top were spectacular. As we entered Park Güell, we were surrounded by the intricate details of Gaudi’s mosaics; far and wide, the colours sparkled in the sunshine. We spent the afternoon exploring the park, appreciating the pillared structures, the elaborate mosaics, and the architecture that surrounded us.”

“We awoke on the second day, bright eyed and bushy tailed, eager to see what else Barcelona had to offer. After a lovely continental breakfast provided by our hostel, we prepared for a full day ahead - sunglasses at the ready. As we walked down Passieg de Gracia, we first took stock at another of Gaudi’s buildings, Casa Milà. With its unconventional rough surface and sweeping curves, it is another fantastic example of the creativity and complexity within Gaudi’s architecture. Following this, we spent the rest of the morning seeing the sights of the Barcelona Cathedral in the Gothic Quarter. Entering the cathedral in complete silence was not a problem, as it was truly a magnificent sight to see. Complex brickwork made up the interior of the cathedral, with repeating archways, hanging chandeliers and beautiful stained-glass windows. Around the edge of the cathedral, we were in awe of the handmade, wood-carved sculptures, depicting scenes of a religious nature. To our surprise, we found that we could take a small lift up to the rooftop of the cathedral, to be graced with 360 degree views over Barcelona, including La Sagrada Familia in the distance – you cannot miss it!”

“After a short metro ride, we arrived at the magnificent La Sagrada Familia, the sight we had all been eagerly anticipating! Words cannot begin to describe the sheer scale of the building and the level of detail in the architecture. As you enter the building, you are met with a truly breathtaking sight of towering columns, geometric shapes and bright colours as the sunlight beams through the stained-glass windows. We had the privilege of traveling up to one of the viewpoints; the Passion Façade, in which you could see across the beautiful Barcelona. What was not so beautiful was the very cramped, narrow, winding steps needed to get all the way down back to the bottom! Not recommended for the faint-hearted or claustrophobic – ‘jelly legs’ was the best way to describe it!”

“In the afternoon, we stopped by the Arc De Triomf – the Barcelona version of the famed Parisian landmark – followed by a stroll through Las Ramblas before dinner.”

“On our third and final day in Barcelona, the twenty thousand plus steps that we were doing each day began to take its toll. A tired bunch, we began the day by exploring the Museum of Contemporary Art, allowing the students to gather further primary research for their coursework back at college. There was a mixture of sculptures, paintings and interactive artwork for the students to be inspired by. Following a tapas lunch in an Art Deco inspired food court, we took the bus to the top of Montjuïc Hill, and into the Montjuïc Castle. The view from up there was impressive, providing us with panoramic views over the city, whilst being encased in the historical realms of Barcelona.”

“As the sun was setting, we embarked on one final venture to the local beach. As it began to go down, we relaxed on the rocks, listening to the waves, taking in what had been a busy but incredible few days in Barcelona.”

Stephanie Mitchell

Executive Director of Specialisms/ Director of Design & Technology

To view the photos from the trip, please click here. 

  • Active Learning
  • Microsoft
  • Cisco
  • University of Reading
  • Network Rail
  • Peter Brett