A Gaudí Guide to Barcelona

Parc Guell. Image Courtesy of http://www.lowcostholidays.com/

Although already an icon in architectural circles, “birthday boy” Antoni Gaudí may soon be receiving a new accolade: sainthood. Due to his renowned, unique style and tireless efforts on La Sagrada Família, Gaudi, potentially our first Patron Saint of Architects, will be beatified by Pope Francis within the next year.

Although beatification is only the third of four steps towards full-fledged canonization (which will require proof that Gaudí performed at least one miracle), it still seems a good moment to celebrate Gaudí and explore some of his most astounding works scattered throughout the city of Barcelona (seven of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites). Discover some of our favourites after the break.

Happy Birthday Antoni Gaudí!

’s passion facade. Image Courtesy of Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Família

Antoni Gaudí (1852 – 1926), the Catalán architect known for his distinctive, fantastical style, and – of course – for his magnum opus, the unfinished Sagrada Família, would have turned 162 today. Heavily influenced by religion and the forms, patterns, and colors found in nature, his work was a precursor to building technology development in the 20th century.

In the Sagrada Família, Gaudí eliminated the need for flying buttresses by developing an ingenious system of angled columns and hyperboloidal vaults. The use of hyperboloids and other complex shapes with ruled surfaces allowed not only for a structure far more delicate than its contemporaries, but also for enhanced acoustic and light quality.

In honor of Gaudí’s birthday, check out some of his other iconic contributions to architecture below.

Dutch Students To Build Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia From Ice

Montage. Image Courtesy of

A team of students from Eindhoven University are to build a forty metre high model of Antonio Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia. The project, which follows the completion of the world’s biggest ice dome last year, will be constructed from pykrete and reinforced with wood fibres. Impressively, the 1:4 scale model will be built in only three weeks. Thin layers of water and snow will be sprayed onto large, inflated molds. The pykrete (water mixed with sawdust) will be immediately absorbed by the snow before freezing. According to the organisers, “the wood fiber content makes the material three times as strong as normal ice, and it’s also a lot tougher.” Find out more about the project here.

AD Classics: La Sagrada Familia / Antoni Gaudi

The Passion Facade © Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Família

Construction of the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família began in 1882, more than a century ago. The temple is still under construction, with completion expected in 2026. It is perhaps the best known structure of Catalan Modernisme, drawing over three million visitors annually. Architect Antoni Gaudi worked on the project until his death in 1926, in full anticipation he would not live to see it finished. 

Video: What the Sagrada Familia Will Look Like in 2026

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Before you head out for the weekend, check out this awesome new video we found on Gizmodo that visualizes what Antoni Gaudi’s could look like in the year 2026 (hint: pretty gosh-darned amazing). Happy Friday everyone!

Happy 161st Birthday Antoni Gaudí!

© alexsalcedo / Shutterstock.com

Antoni Gaudí (1852 -1926), the Catalán architect best known for his imaginative style, inspired by the curves and shapes found in nature, and – of course – for his inimitable masterpiece, the unfinished Sagrada Familia, would have turned 161 today.

Remember this unique architect’s work by revisiting his works on ArchDaily: Casa MilaCasa Batlló, Colonia Guell, and Park Guell

Happy Birthday Antoni! Per molts anys Antoni!

Image of via alexsalcedo / Shutterstock.com

AD Classics: Casa Milà / Antoni Gaudí

© Samuel Ludwig

With its undulating façade and surrealist sculptural roof, Antoni Gaudi’s Casa Milà appears more organic than artificial, as if it were carved straight from the ground. Known as La Pedera, the quarry, the building was inspired by the Modernista movement, ’s version of Art Nouveau..

AD Classics: Parc Güell / Antoni Gaudí

Courtesy of Samuel Ludwig

Parc Güell is a park designed by Antoni Gaudí upon the request of Count Eusebi Güell, who wanted to build a stylish park for the aristocrats of . The Count had planned to build a housing development that would take advantage of the area’s views and fresh air; however, only two show houses were completed. Gaudí himself inhabited one of them, designed by architect Francesc Berenguer in 1904. The house is now a museum showcasing some of Gaudí’s work. The park is a common tourist attraction in , and is known for its famous terrace and iconic entrance, flanked by two Gaudí buildings.

AD Classics: Colònia Güell / Antoni Gaudí

Courtesy of Samuel Ludwig

Colònia Güell was a workers’ colony located in Santa Coloma de Cervelló, presently a town of around 7,000 inhabitants 20km outside . The area was a manufacturing suburb that grew rapidly around the turn of the 20th century. In 1898, Antoni Gaudi was commissioned by Count Eusebi de Güell, who wanted to provide a place of worship for the booming suburb, to build a Church. It was never actually completed because the money ran out as a result of economic hardships. When work stopped in 1915, only the crypt was completed, though it is nevertheless listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site. In 2002, a restoration was carried out by architect Antonio González Moreno who was widely criticized for allegedly mistreating Gaudi’s work.

Ceramica Cumella: Shaping Ideas

Aichi Expo, Japan © Ceramica Cumella

From September 29th to December 8th, the exhibition dedicated to the work of Toni Cumella will be open. His works in ceramic have been utilised by architects such as Enric Miralles, Alejandro Zaera-Polo, or Jean Nouvel. These collaborations made his material became part of the image of Barcelona, being part of the construction of La Sagrada Familia, and the restoration of Casa Batlló and Parc Güell.

Focusing on the 4 main fabrication processes in use at Ceramica Cumella – extruding, casting, pressing and revolving – Shaping Ideas presents the work of Toni Cumella and the application of his ceramics in some of contemporary architecture’s most significant projects.

Video: Sagrada Familia / Moment Factory

A huge creative and technical challenge was recently undertaken by Moment Factory. They were invited by the City of and the City of Montreal to create the first sound and light spectacle to be projected on the complex façade of the Sagrada Familia in . This 15 minute-long multimedia show, using video mapping techniques and their X-Agora playback system, was presented within La Mercè Festival in this weekend. The inspiration: to realize Antonio Gaudi’s dream. The architect wished for the façade to be full of colors.

Happy 160th Birthday Antoni Gaudi!

© Wikipedia

Antoni Gaudí (1852 -1926), the Catalán architect best known for his whimsical style and his inimitable masterpiece, the still unfinished Sagrada Familia, would have turned a ripe 160 years old today.

© Wikimedia

The Huffington Post today commemorated his memory, saying: “As an architect, Gaudi possessed a distinct vision that incorporated nature, religion and Catalan culture to create beautiful organic monuments that remain hallmarks of Spanish architecture. Attention to detail was a marked trait of his colossal churches and palaces, culminating in swirling terraces and bulging balconies that lent a whimsical touch to familiar neo-gothic and orientalist styles.”

Take a moment to remember this unique architect’s work and rediscover one of his classics, Casa Batlló.

Happy Birthday Antoni! Per molts anys Antoni!

 

Architecture City Guide: Barcelona

This week, with the help of our readers, our Architecture City Guide is headed to . We recently featured an engaging video where Wiel Arets half jokingly said is fantastic but boring. He continued to say as soon as Sagrada Família is finished is done; there is nothing left to do there (10:50). Arets can say what he wants about Barcelona supposedly being boring, but our city guide doesn’t reflect this. Barcelona is filled with fantastically expressive architecture that springs from its proud Catalan culture. It was impossible to feature all our readers suggestions in the first go around, and we did not even come close to including some of the most iconic building such as Casa Milà. Thus we are looking to add to our list of 24 in the near future. Further more there are so many fabulous buildings on the drawing board or under construction, i.e. the projects in the @22 district, we’ll most likely be updating this city guide for quite awhile, regardless of Sagrada Família’s completion.

Take a look at our list with the knowledge it is far complete and add to it in the comment section below.

The Architecture City Guide: Barcelona list and corresponding map after the break.

AD Classics: Casa Batlló / Antoni Gaudí

©Wikipedia

The inspiring imagination of undoubtedly reveals itself in one of his most poetic and artistic designs for a building, . His synthesis of animal shapes, vine-like curves, hints of bone and skeleton, and his use of lustrous colored bits of glazed ceramic and glass create a masterpiece that will forever astonish its observers.

More on Casa Batlló after the break.

Pushing La Sagrada Família Forward

© Vikingo’s Pub. Via Flickr

Our newest addition to the site, our AD Classics, highlight impressive and innovative buildings spanning the course of history. While we are continually fascinated by Kahn’s National Assembly Building of Bangladesh (1982) or SOM’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (1963), what about works that date even farther back….before Corbusier’s Unite d’ Habitation (1952) and Mies’ Farnsworth House (1951); before the Eames House (1945) and Wright’s Unity Temple (1905).  Dating back to the 1880s, devoted over a decade of his life to one of ’s, and the architecture world’s, most prized structures, la Sagrada Família.  The cathedral has remained under construction for hundreds of years as debates concerning whether or not its current state is too far from the original vision continually spark controversy.  Yet, this Sunday, as the NY Times reported, Pope Benedict XVI visited the cathedral to consecrate the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família. The visit spurred hundreds of workers to prepare the church in an effort to highlight the newest “ latest architectural and artistic features”.

More after the break.