Blog #5 Gaudi

Gaudi’s beloved unfinished masterpiece.

Placa de la Sagrada Familia, 1883-1926, Barcelona Spain, Antoni Gaudi

Antoni Gaudi was one of the most important modernist style architects worldwide, his attempt to build a 20th century “expressionist” cathedral – the Sagrada Familia – is probably his best known work. This still unfinished project preoccupied his life from 1914 until his death in 1926. In this project Gaudi joined the Neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau styles to create an entirely original style and produce one of the most dramatic architectural compositions of the 19th century.

When work began in 1882, the original architects, bricklayers and labourers worked in a traditional way, but when Gaudi took over the project in 1883 he tried to take advantage of all the modern techniques available. He had railway tracks laid with small wagons to bring in the materials, used cranes to lift the weights and had the workshops located on the site to make the work easier.

As this project was being funded entirely on donations it was not affected by World War I unlike some of his other projects, such as Parc Guell, which was finished incomplete from the original plans in 1914, due to the onset of World War I and diminished support from the bourgeoisie.

Gaudi was an ingenious architect and is as remarkable for his innovations in technology as for his aesthetic genius. He applied structural solutions learnt by observing nature and the Cathedrals structure “is formed based on leaning columns, with abundant ramifications in the upper sections, whose branches hold up small fragments of hyperboloid vaults, which produce the effect of a forest”. He constructed various models with weights that enabled him to achieve his unusual building shapes and he is greatly admired for his use of the hyperbolic paraboloid form.

The photos included here are some of the ones I took when I visited the Cathedral in 2004. They really do not do this wondrous architectural masterpiece justice, as it is truly the most amazing work of art. I was in awe at the imagination and depth of detail of Gaudi’s design and no matter how much I describe how incredible it is I do not feel words can do it justice. The last link I have included is to the website for the Sagrada Familia which has a variety of other fantastic photos, enjoy!



  1. […] Blog #5 Gaudi « Sarosi U.K. […]

  2. Beverly West Said:

    Hello! As I was reading your blog, the first thing that came to mind was that I could not believe this building has yet to be finished after construction first began way over 100 years ago! Why hasn’t anyone been up for that challenge? Is it because so much still needs to be done? Or is it because people are afraid of having to fill the shoes of Antoni Guardi? I think you might of mixed up your years because you say that Guadi took over the project in 1883 in the second paragraph, but in the first paragraph you said that the building occupied his life from 1914-1926? I love that when Guadi took over the reins, he changed things up! He incorporated science and technology to make the build more productive and easier with the use of cranes and railway tracks. I cant believe that this building was funded solely on donations and that WWI did not halt production. I also cannot believe you were able to visit this cathedral, I appreciate you incorporating your pictures. When I looked at the zoomed in pictures, all of the little details blew me away! I know you mentioned how amazing this building is, but I’m not exactly sure why you think it’s so grand? I wish you would have gone a little bit more into detail about that. Also, I’m a little confused as to what you think this piece of visual art is influenced by? Is it science and technology or is it WW1? However, for the most part it was a really good blog.

    • Amanda Said:

      Thanks for your comments, Gaudi did actually take over the project in 1883 but it was not until 1914 that it became his “sole” project. I would have to say that this project was most influenced by science and technology due to his design aesthetic and how he actually manged to acheive that. Like i said in the blog for me words are not enough to express just how magnificent this cathedral is and if you ever get to see it you will understand why.
      As for it not being finished yet, work is still going on and one day they do hope to get all of Gaudi’s plans completed.

  3. This is a great detailed post! It is easy to see that you have a strong knowledge of the subject and I learned a lot from it. I like how you noted that this project was not effected by WWI but you were able to point out projects that were. Good job citing, since you used a lot of information. Overall very good post!

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