Religion, in one form or another, has formed the core of human society for much of our history. It therefore stands to reason that religious architecture has found equal prominence in towns and cities across the globe. Faith carries different meanings for different peoples and cultures, resulting in a wide variety of approaches to the structures in which worship takes place: some favor sanctuaries, others places of education and community, while others place the greatest emphasis on nature itself. Indeed, many carry secondary importance as symbols of national power or cultural expression.
AD Classics are ArchDaily's continually updated collection of longer-form building studies of the world's most significant architectural projects. The collection of sacred spaces collated here invariably reveal one desire that remains constant across all faiths and cultures: shifting one’s gaze from the mundane and everyday and fixing it on the spiritual, the otherworldly, and the eternal.
When Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (25 June 1852 – 10 June 1926) graduated from the Barcelona Architecture School in 1878, the director of the school Elies Rogent reportedly declared: "Gentlemen, we are here today either in the presence of a genius or a madman!"  Well over a century later, this tension is still evident in Gaudí's work; though he is widely regarded as a genius architect, his distinctive style stands as a singularity in architectural history - simultaneously awe-inspiring and bizarre, never fitting into any stylistic movement, and never adapted or emulated, except by those still working to complete his magnum opus, Barcelona's famous Sagrada Família.
133 years since the laying of its foundation, the construction of Antoni Gaudí's Sagrada Família has entered its final phase. This news was announced in a recent press conference by the project's directing architect Jordi Faulí, who will oversee the completion of six new towers that will raise the "Tower of Jesus Christ" to 172.5 meters-tall, making it the tallest religious structure in Europe and Barcelona's tallest building.
The final stage will include the construction of the 172.5 meter Tower of Jesus Christ, as well as five other 135-meter towers honoring the Virgin Mary and the four apostles.
Built between 1883 and 1889, Casa Vicens was the first house designed by Gaudí. The building’s current owner, a subsidiary of the financial group Mora Banc Grup, is currently working on its restoration and the museum planning. “The mission of Casa Vicens as a house museum is to present the first Gaudí house, presenting it as an essential work to understand his unique architectural language and the development of Art Nouveau in Barcelona,” explained the executive manager of the project, Mercedes Mora, in a recent interview with Iconic Houses.
Fernando Schapochnik’s 1 minute series – a set of four videos of iconic buildings in Europe – aims to create a sensory interaction with the spaces. Filmed using only a cellphone, the videos rely on textures, sounds, rhythms and varying speeds to narrate the viewer's relationship with the spaces, letting the senses guide the experience. Journey through Le Corbusier’s Ronchamp, Antoni Gaudí’s Park Guell, SANAA’s Rolex Learning Center and OMA’s Kunsthal after the break.
Ever since its unprecedented skyward growth in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Manhattan has been an icon of construction all over the world, with recent estimates concluding that the island contains some 47,000 buildings. However, as with all construction, completed projects are just the tip of the architectural iceberg; Manhattan is also the home of many thousands of unloved, incomplete, and downright impossible proposals that never made it big in the Big Apple.
Of course, the challenges of New York are indiscriminate, and even world-renowned architects often have difficulties building in the city. After the break, we take a look at just three of these proposals, by Antoni Gaudí, Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Gehry, courtesy of 6sqft.
Following our top 40 Architecture Docs to Watch in 2014and our favourite 30 Architecture Docs to Watch in 2013, 2015 is no exception! Our latest round up continues to feature a fantastic range of films and documentaries telling the tales of unsung architectural heroes and unheard urban narratives from around the world. This entirely fresh selection looks past the panoply of stars to bring you more of the best architectural documentaries which will provoke, intrigue and beguile.
From a film which explores one man's dream to build a cathedral (#4) and a simultaneous history of and vision of Rotterdam's future (#7), to a tour of the world's last surviving squatter town in Copenhagen (#14) and A Short History of Abandoned Sets in Morocco (#16), we present - in no particular order - thirty freshly picked documentaries for you to watch in 2015.
Chile may soon be home to the only Antoni Gaudí-designed building located outside of Spain. At a recent press conference, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet confirmed government funding for the construction of the Gaudí Cultural and Spiritual Center in the city of Rancagua, which will include a chapel designed by the Catalán architect.
The project originated in 1922 through a series of letters exchanged between Gaudí and Chilean Franciscan Friar Angélico Aranda, who asked Gaudí to design a chapel for Chile. “I wish to implement an original work, very original, and I thought of you,” wrote Aranda to Gaudí, who by then was immersed in constructing his masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia. Since 1996, Chile’s Corporación Gaudí de Triana has been working to make the design resulting from this conversation a reality.
A team of students from Eindhoven University are set to build a forty metre high model of Antoni Gaudí’sSagrada Familia out of 'ice'. The project, which follows their completion of the world’s biggest ice dome last year, will be constructed from pykrete and reinforced with wood fibres. The fifty-strong team will head to Finland on the 28th December 2014 to begin construction of the impressive 1:5 scale model, which will be built in only four weeks in order to officially open in the last week of January 2015.
Read about their unique construction method and see photos of the preparatory work after the break.
The Basilica of the Sagrada Família in Barcelona have laid out their planned milestones for the forthcoming year, visualising it in a short film that begins to piece together Antoni Gaudí's incredible vision. The Sacristy and Raking Cornice will be constructed between this year and next, while new stained glass windows will be installed flooding the interior spaces with evermore coloured light.
Arguably there are only two architects in history that have become almost completely synonymous with one particular city - Charles Rennie Mackintosh for Glasgow and Antoní Gaudi for Barcelona. Indeed, a Catalonian architect, Enric Miralles, designed the Scottish Parliament Building in Holyrood, Edinburgh. The fact that both of these cities are part of large enclaves who are seeking, or have sought, independence is perhaps just a coincidence. Architecture, often used as a symbol for the identity of nationhood, will certainly be part of a wider dialogue about the Union of the United Kingdom following yesterday's referendum.
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.
A team of students from Eindhoven University are to build a forty metre high model of Antonio Gaudí'sSagrada 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.
Before you head out for the weekend, check out this awesome new video we found on Gizmodo that visualizes what Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Familia could look like in the year 2026 (hint: pretty gosh-darned amazing). Happy Friday everyone!
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.
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.