“When viewed from above, Barcelona is another city. There’s a different light, other colours, other rhythms, other sounds, other people...” Miguel Herranz wanders around the rooftops, lookouts, roof decks and balconies of Barcelona, sketchbook at the ready, revealing the secrets and the beauty of this hidden city located right over our heads. Falling somewhere between meticulously rendered illustration and the spontaneity of urban sketching, Miguel Herranz offers us an illustrated urban chronicle of Barcelona, the life stories of a city as seen from above: from panoramic scenes of neighbourhoods that stretch out into the sea, to the private life of the city’s characteristic terrats, to all the details of the multiple eaves, gargoyles, chimneys and forests of aerials that inhabit these spaces. A secret tour through an uncharted Barcelona.
Text from the introduction
Sketching from rooftops has always appealed to me, but I’ve never made systematic use of them. There’s something melancholic and crepuscular about them, if only because the sun sets a little later in the day when viewed from a rooftop. A city’s roofs are like supporting actors; not as good-looking as the main character but they always give better performances. Likeable antiheroes who can’t dance and will never get the girl but still seem to know everything.
You’ll never see friezes or sculpted female figures on a roof. Just electrical lines, aerials and chimneys. There are no walls up on a rooftop, which gives you the perfect view of the sea. You’re not looking up at giants, but perched up on their shoulders.
I haven’t lived in Barcelona for a long time, but by working on this book I have come to know it much more than any other city that I have ever lived in.
Copyright of the text: the authors
Copyright of the edition: Editorial Gustavo Gili SL