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Antoni Gaudí

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History's Most Notorious Unfinished Buildings

09:30 - 9 July, 2018
© Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Família
© Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Família

Both today and in centuries past, it is a reality of building that not every project is destined for success. Financial issues or unrealistic timetables can complicate a building’s construction but, while usually the final result eventually meets the initial expectations, other times the worst-case scenario of a building being abandoned during construction becomes a nightmare come true. Unfortunately, these failed projects have an extensive history. Economic factors are the most common cause of unfinished construction, but buildings have also been stranded in limbo by wars, geopolitical shifts, epidemics of disease and other unpredictable obstacles, leaving partial structures as haunting reminders of what might have been.

Whether partially completed and left as ruins or still under construction decades (or centuries) after initial groundbreaking, unfinished buildings offer an alternative history of our built environment, promising long-delayed gratification or examples of design so ambitious that they prove impossible to realize. Initiated by civilizations across the globe, the following list details just a few examples of history’s most interesting and infamous unfinished construction projects.

Image by Ilya Ilusenko <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Palace_Of_Soviets_8.JPG'>via Wikimedia</a> (public domain) © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/hisgett/4675714481'>Flickr user hisgett</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/'>CC BY 2.0</a> © Raphael Olivier © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tourists_posing_at_the_National_Monument_of_Scotland.jpg'>Wikimedia user Colin</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/'>CC BY-SA 4.0</a> + 12

7 Notable Unbuilt Structures Brought to Life in New Renders

09:30 - 3 July, 2018
7 Notable Unbuilt Structures Brought to Life in New Renders, Courtesy of Onward by Onstride Financial
Courtesy of Onward by Onstride Financial

It only takes a pen, paper, and an innovative mind to create remarkable structures. Bringing these architectures to life, however, is where challenges arise. While some architects have shown their creativity and ambition by designing and constructing some of the craziest structures the world has ever seen, other architects were only left with an ambitious drawing. Whether due to financial limitations or designs that are way ahead of their time, some projects never saw the light of day.

Although you won’t be visiting these structures anytime soon—or ever, as far as we know—take a virtual tour of what could have been 7 of the world’s most iconic, innovative structures, courtesy of renders produced by Onward, the blog from Onstride Financial.

8 Architects Whose Names Became Architectural Styles

09:30 - 26 January, 2018
8 Architects Whose Names Became Architectural Styles, Sagrada Familia Ceiling Detail. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/7455207@N05/5491325900/'>Flickr user SBA73</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 2.0</a>
Sagrada Familia Ceiling Detail. Image © Flickr user SBA73 licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Throughout history, there have been certain architects whose unique ideas and innovative styles have influenced generations to come. Some of these pioneers introduced ideas so revolutionary that entirely new words had to be invented to truly encapsulate them. Whether they became a style embraced by an entire era, or captured the imagination of millions for decades to come, we know a Gaudiesque or Corbusian building when we see one.

Here are eight adjectives derived from the works of architects whose names are now in the dictionary:

Ronchamp by Le Corbusier. Image via <a href='http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Ronchamp-Snow-Chapel-Notre-dame-You-Skin-De-Ronchamp-372579'>Maxpixel</a> Farnsworth House by Mies Van Der Rohe. Image © Jack E. Boucher <a href='http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/il0323/'>via the Library of Congress</a> (public domain) Fuente de los Amantes by Luis Barragan. Image © <a href='https://www.flickr.com/photos/esparta/3573608700'>Flickr user esparta</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en'>CC BY 2.0</a> Trinity Church, Boston by Henry Hobson Richardson. Image © Carol M. Highsmith <a href='http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/highsm.12234/'>via the Library of Congress</a> (public domain) + 9

7 Architects Who Weren't Afraid to Use Color

09:30 - 10 October, 2017
La Muralla Roja. Image © Gregori Civera
La Muralla Roja. Image © Gregori Civera

Some architects love color, some are unmoved by it, some hate it, and some love to dismiss it as too whimsical or non-serious for architecture. In an essay on the subject, Timothy Brittain-Catlin mentions the “innate puritanism among clients of architecture,” architects and their “embarrassment of confronting color,” and how “Modernism tried to ‘educate out’ bright colors.” So, while the debate on color in architecture is far from being a new one, it is not finished, and probably never will be. 

In today’s world where the exhausted stereotype of the no-nonsense architect clad in black still persists, and while we quietly mull over the strange pull of the Cosmic Latte, there are some architects who haven’t been afraid of using broad swathes of color in their work at all. Read on for a list of 7 such exemplary architects both from the past and the present.

Interior of Casa Gilardi. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ACasa_Liraldi_Luis_Barrag%C3%A1n.JPG'> Wikimedia user Ulises00</a> licensed under <a href=' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain'>Public Domain</a> Casa Batlló. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Barcelona_Casa_Batll%C3%B3_DachterrasseKamine.jpg'>Wikimedia user M.Stallbaum</a> licensed under <a href='https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain'>Public Domain</a> St. Coletta School / Michael Graves. Image Courtesy of Michael Graves Café l'Aubette. Image © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Strasbourg_Cin%C3%A9_Bal_de_l%27Aubette_janvier_2014-17.jpg'>Wikimedia user Claude Truong-Ngoc</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a> + 20

This is Gaudí

03:00 - 23 May, 2017
This is Gaudí

Antoni Gaudí has a reputation as monastic, mad and hermetic, but the architect of many of the buildings that define Barcelona’s cityscape was no mad eccentric; he was a genius inspired by his faith in nature and the divine.

Gaudí's First-Ever House to Open as a Museum Following Major Restoration

12:15 - 10 May, 2017
© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by: Pol Viladoms
© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by: Pol Viladoms

Antoni Gaudí’s first ever house, Casa Vicens, is set to open to the public this autumn following a major restoration effort. Located in the Barcelona neighborhood of Gràcia, the house was originally built for broker Manuel Vicens from 1883 to 1885 – helping to define Gaudí’s signature style and helping to usher in the era of Art Nouveau architecture in Catalonia.

© Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by: Pol Viladoms © Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by: Pol Viladoms © Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by: Pol Viladoms © Casa Vicens, Barcelona 2017. Photo by: Pol Viladoms + 25

How to Pronounce the Names of 22 Notable Architects

09:30 - 17 April, 2017
How to Pronounce the Names of 22 Notable Architects

There’s no doubt that one of the best things about architecture is its universality. Wherever you come from, whatever you do, however you speak, architecture has somehow touched your life. However, when one unexpectedly has to pronounce a foreign architect’s name... things can get a little tricky. This is especially the case when mispronunciation could end up making you look less knowledgeable than you really are. (If you're really unlucky, it could end up making you look stupid in front of your children and the whole world.)

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 22 architects with names that are a little difficult to pronounce, and paired them with a recording in which their names are said impeccably. Listen and repeat as many times as it takes to get it right, and you’ll be prepared for any intellectual architectural conversation that comes your way. 

Trouble Hits the Final Stages of Gaudí's La Sagrada Familia

06:00 - 17 October, 2016
Trouble Hits the Final Stages of Gaudí's La Sagrada Familia, Sagrada Familia / Antoni Gaudí. Image © Flickr User: haschelsax, bajo CC BY-ND 2.0
Sagrada Familia / Antoni Gaudí. Image © Flickr User: haschelsax, bajo CC BY-ND 2.0

Over the course of 134 years of construction of the Sagrada Familia, the unfinished masterpiece of Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona has experienced three unresolved conflicts. First, there was a lack of a (contemporary) construction permit, the nonpayment of taxes, and finally the uncertainty about whether or not to finally build the large plaza to the southeast that Gaudí imagined with the forced expulsion of up to 3,000 residents and lessees, all living in the area surrounding Sagrada Familia’s Glory Façade.

In recent days, these three issues have come to light almost simultaneously, but let’s discuss them one by one. Bitterly upset by what he describes as "a project without plans in Gaudi's name" Councilman of Barcelona Architecture, Urban Landscape and Heritage Daniel Mòdol called the Sagrada Familia a "giant Easter cake".

His statement, reported by the press two weeks ago, overshadowed the official Municipal proposal made to the temple’s construction monitoring committee "if they plan to modify the planning around the basilica" in a maximum period of six months. This is in reference to the large esplanade designed by Gaudi in his original plan, in front of the Glory Façade (between the streets Mallorca and Arago): a walkway 60 meters wide that would connect the temple with Diagonal Avenue.

Interior of the Sagrada Familia. Image © Flickr User: Kah-Wai Lin, bajo CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Sagrada Familia / Antoni Gaudí. Image © Flickr User: haschelsax, bajo CC BY-ND 2.0 Sagrada Familia / Antoni Gaudí. Image © Flickr User: Fredrik Rubensson, bajo CC BY-ND 2.0 Sagrada Familia / Antoni Gaudí. Image © Flickr User: H.KoPP, bajo CC BY-ND 2.0 + 5

Video: The Six Towers that will Crown the Sagrada Família

08:00 - 7 February, 2016

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, more commonly known simply as the Sagrada Família, has been under construction in Barcelona since 1882, but now completion of the church is finally in sight. As this video from the Basilica’s YouTube page illustrates, the six final towers are set to be completed by 2026, timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the death of Antoni Gaudí, the Catalan architect who devoted much of his life to the design and construction of the building. These six towers, representing the Virgin Mary, the four evangelists, and Jesus Christ, will be the last and tallest of 18 spires on the church, and will make the Sagrada Família the tallest church building in the world.

Gaudí's Sagrada Família to Become Tallest Church in Europe by 2026

14:30 - 23 October, 2015
Gaudí's Sagrada Família to Become Tallest Church in Europe by 2026, Templo Expiatorio of the Sagrada Família. Image © Flickr User: Jose Gonzalvo Vivas, bajo CC BY 2.0
Templo Expiatorio of the Sagrada Família. Image © Flickr User: Jose Gonzalvo Vivas, bajo CC BY 2.0

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. 

More information and a video after the break.

Gaudí’s Casa Vicens to Open as a Museum in 2016

12:00 - 7 September, 2015
Gaudí’s Casa Vicens to Open as a Museum in 2016, Casa Vicens. Image © Eric Huang [Flickr CC]
Casa Vicens. Image © Eric Huang [Flickr CC]

Designed by Antonio Gaudí in Barcelona when he was 30, and designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005, Casa Vicens will be converted into a museum and open its doors to the public during the second half of 2016. 

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

Learn more after the break. 

Casa Vicens. Image © Michela Simoncini [Flickr CC] Casa Vicens. Image © Ian Gampon [Flickr CC] Casa Vicens. Image © Ian Gampon [Flickr CC] Casa Vicens. Image © Ian Gampon [Flickr CC] + 5

1 Minute Series: Exploring 4 of Europe's Most Iconic Sensory Spaces

09:00 - 21 April, 2015
1 Minute Series: Exploring 4 of Europe's Most Iconic Sensory Spaces

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. 

Never Built New York: Projects From Gaudí, Gehry and Wright that Didn't Make it in Manhattan

09:30 - 25 March, 2015
Never Built New York: Projects From Gaudí, Gehry and Wright that Didn't Make it in Manhattan, Sketches by Gaudí on the left, with Joan Matamala's drawing of the building on the right. Image Courtesy of 6sqft
Sketches by Gaudí on the left, with Joan Matamala's drawing of the building on the right. Image Courtesy of 6sqft

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.

Interior sketch by Gaudí. Image Courtesy of 6sqft Frank Lloyd Wright's drawings for the project. Image © MoMA/Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Frank Lloyd Wright's drawings for the project. Image © MoMA/Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation A model of Gehry's design that was put on display for the public. Image © Carter B. Horsley for The City Review + 8

Architecture Documentaries To Watch In 2015

09:00 - 8 March, 2015
Architecture Documentaries To Watch In 2015, Microtopia (2013) / Jesper Wachtmeister
Microtopia (2013) / Jesper Wachtmeister

Following our top 40 Architecture Docs to Watch in 2014 and 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.

AD Round Up: Classics in Brick

11:00 - 30 January, 2015
AD Round Up: Classics in Brick, Colònia Güell / Antoni Gaudí. Image © Samuel Ludwig
Colònia Güell / Antoni Gaudí. Image © Samuel Ludwig

As one of the most ubiquitous forms of construction, it can sometimes be easy to overlook the humble brick. However, this prosaic building method can also be one of the most versatile materials available to architects, thanks to the experimentation of countless architects who, for centuries, have worked to create new forms of expression with the simple material. In this round up, we celebrate architects who, with their architectural classics, have expanded the possibilities of brick craft: Antoni Gaudí's fantastical vaulting at Colònia Güell and Alvar Aalto's experimental brick patterning at his house in Muuratsalo; the powerful brick piers of Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo's Knights of Columbus Building and the Catalan vaults of Porro, Garatti and Gattardi's National Arts School of Cuba; and finally, what brick round up would be complete without the brick-whisperer himself - Louis Kahn and his all-brick fortress for the Indian Institute of Management.

Muuratsalo Experimental House / Alvar Aalto. Image © Nico Saieh Knights of Columbus Building / Kevin Roche & John Dinkeloo. Image © Flickr: username- sftrajan The National Art Schools of Cuba / Ricardo Porro, Vittorio Garatti, Roberto Gottardi. Image © Norma Barbacci/World Monuments Fund Indian Institute of Management / Louis Kahn. Image © Wikimedia Commons + 7

Chile to (Finally) Build Gaudí’s Only Project Outside of Spain

00:00 - 14 January, 2015
Chile to (Finally) Build Gaudí’s Only Project Outside of Spain, Model of the “Our Lady of Angels” Chapel. Image © Corporación Gaudí de Triana
Model of the “Our Lady of Angels” Chapel. Image © Corporación Gaudí de Triana

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. 

Learn more about this project after the break. 

Letter from Gaudí to Aranda, page 1 (1922). Image © Corporación Gaudí de Triana Letter from Aranda to Gaudí (1922). Image © Corporación Gaudí de Triana Croquis of the Our Lady of Angels” Chapel. Image © Corporación Gaudí de Triana Croquis of the Our Lady of Angels” Chapel. Image © Corporación Gaudí de Triana + 6

Students Head To Finland To Construct Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia From Ice

00:00 - 24 December, 2014
Students Head To Finland To Construct Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia From Ice, Reimagining the Sagrada Familia in ice. Image © Bart van Overbeeke / TU/e
Reimagining the Sagrada Familia in ice. Image © Bart van Overbeeke / TU/e

A team of  from Eindhoven University are set to build a forty metre high model of Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada 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.

Gaudí's Sagrada Família To Reach Another Milestone

00:00 - 23 September, 2014

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.