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Sep 1, 2016

SPLENDID SPAIN IN BARCELONA — SAGRADA FAMILIA

As I neared the Sagrada Família, my heart skipped a beat faster and I wondered how far more do I  have to walk before meeting face to face with this beauty.

TIP 1.
Purchasing tickets to Sagrada Familia can be daunting with so many choices available.

We joined the local tour with a  guide  and topped up with a tower tour ( You have to pre-purchase online).  There are many intervals available for the guide but the HOT TIMING will be those in the MORNING. You can also see the availability of the various slots on the same web page. 
The specialized guide gave a wonderful insight into the history and the aspects and different facades of the beautiful church. It's definitely worthy to pay 2 Euro more for the guided tour. 

Though it was a large ground but we all had on the mic and portable headset ( ever so useful) and were able to listen to the commentary from the guide clearly.

Even if you had gone on with a tour group, you would still be following the local specialized guides for this segment. So why not arrange yourself?














Capture the sunlight filtering the colored stained glasses... it's way pretty. 





Where Jesus is
The main altar where Jesus lies is out of bound. But believers can sit on the pews in front to pray as usual.
I am no Christian but I totally enjoy learning how Gaudi's work of science and art intertwined with his and the Catalan people's religion and faith. 

Clever use of Sunlight
Look up the towards the ceiling and there's an opening which allows natural sunlight to filter in thus 'lighting' up Jesus too. 
How enlightening indeed!

This is the area for praying
The cathedral is totally not a place for photo taking or OOTD as humans abound everywhere. 





 NATIVITY TOWER,  EAST of Barcelona
Of the 18 towers intended for the Familia, only 8 are completed 4 on each side of Nativity and Passion respectively. Remember if you bought the tower inclusive tickets to head up to the top of either towers. 
Go up via a lift and down via the stairs. 
It was an awesome experience! Recommended! 


and while waiting for the lift to come... 

The East view of Barcelona!
While being high up, you can still see lots of works are still carrying on with construction over the 
'unfinished' towers for the basilica.








A tower is A TOWER. Narrow and steep. 


And we spotted the new side of the tower building- in- progress. 


It gets narrower as you descend. 




Gradually the basillca came into view on from the ground level as you descend

There is so much to snap, you get quite lost on how and what exactly to snap gradually



The recreation and souvenirs shop as we made our way out



Tip 2.
 Barcelona is a big friendly place for international travellers solo. However, things can be a bit tricky when trying to take photographs at the national museums/churches etc. Many of such places do not allow the uses of tripods. So the only way about it is to grab a stranger and thick-skinned enough to ask for help!


9am to 7pm/ 6pm/8pm depending on months of the year. 




Aug 24, 2016

WHAT YOU CAN SEE @NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY X HEATHERWICK — LEARNING HUB (SINGAPORE)


Nanyang Technological University
My alma mater has become an incubator of creativity and inspiration. It now exudes class and style, improving on the olden days of just boring grey blocks of engineering or business buildings 
( Though yes, they still exist. Just Saying.). 
Just over last year in March 2015, news release came out announcing the completion of the Learning Hub. I remembered first scanning the pages on this peculiar architecture which looks so "out of place'" with the other older blocks on the South Spine. Then, all I let out was exclamations of envy over what my younger juniors would be able to enjoy on. Such a beauty.  

Of course that aside, I was most surprised, in a good way, that (possibly?) big bucks were spent on having Designer Thomas Heatherwick and his London-based Heatherwick Studio to work on such an extraordinary conceptualization?

The architecture itself screams out of this world. Breathtaking and astonishing. I am no expert in design nor architecture but simply just an amuture penning down what I felt about these majestic 12 towers more aptly known in Singapore's context as 'DimSum Baskets' or official as 'The Hive'. 

The function of Learning Hub is to allow students to mix social with academy. Multiple rooms available for project works or discussions, with naturally ventilated spaces to allow air flow. 
Totally, eco-friendly with no air conditioning along the public spaces. 

An oasis in the urbans of sorts. 
And
"werid" nooks and balconies protruding at various angles and turns amongst the many concrete columns.
ENJOY the pictures! 





Inside the LIBRARY- only facility opened on a Saturday and accessible to public.
So contemporary modern and comfy~



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Take a closer look at the tower and you will see over 700 embossed drawings by illustrator Sara Fanelli, depicting images from science, art and literature. 
WOW!!




NOW, Moving on to the EXTERIOR.
It's another experience altogether. 





Though no longer an undergraduate, I am still proud to be an alumni of NTU and see its progress has really brings on much pride and reminance of the younger schooling days. 
This building has been and will be feauture in many more of Heatherwick Studio's roving exhibitions worldwide, along with their other portfolios of course ( As I have seen at the Museum of Contemporary Arts Taipei this year.)
Singapore and NTU will now have more of an international footprint.

THE HIVE
52 Nanyang Avenue