To pay for his architectural studies, Antoni Gaudí worked as a draughtsman with master builder Josep Fontserè i Mestre, whose family also came from Camp de Tarragona. Between 1873 and 1887 Fontserè directed works at the new Ciutadella Park in Barcelona where the 1888 Universal Exhibition was to be held, and others in the surrounding area including the construction of the Born Market.
Gaudí’s collaboration in Ciutadella Park was not limited to drawing up plans for Fontserè, he also made some contributions of his own. At the park’s monumental waterfall, built between 1875 and 1882, he designed the pavilions leading up to the terrace, the décor of the pool walls and the cave. He was also responsible in 1875 for the stone balustrade in the Placeta d’Aribau, ornamented with lions’ heads, and the following year, for the iron candelabra with the shield of Barcelona on the entrance railings. Gaudí also built the regulating basin of the large tank that stored water for the park, a complex project which he used to pass his degree subject ‘Strength of Materials’ without having to sit the examination.