This surname is well-known even for those who are neither interested in architecture, nor in Spanish culture. Antoni Gaudí is still considered as the greatest representative of Catalan Modernism who shaped the outstanding face of Barcelona. Whenever you like his artwork or think these buildings are too strange, Gaudí’s architecture is going to give you the whole range of feelings. Was this man a mad artist or a pure genius?
Life, Colleagues, and Style
Antoni Gaudí was born in 1852 in the little town of Reus near Barcelona. His family was ordinary for that time and did not have much money. Little Antoni expressed his interest in architecture at a very young age, so his parents allowed him to study in Barcelona where he graduated from the Provincial School of Architecture in 1878.
Antoni Gaudí started to work as an architecture while he was a student to pay for the studies, so his career started in the position of an assistant to other famous Barcelona architects. Also, Gaudí collaborated with Josep Fontserè while he was working with the project of the Parc de la Ciutadella. Later, Antoni Gaudí was working with Francisco de Paula del Villar when he developed the project for the Montserrat monastery. This project gave the first idea to Gaudí for the famous church of La Sagrada Familia.
In the beginning, Gaudí was assisting other architectures but he always had his own style that was influenced by nature and religion. The main features of Gaudí’s artwork are geometric shapes, patterns, ceramic inclusions, metal details, and bright colors. In general, Antoni Gaudí is considered a modernist but the Gothic style had an impact on him as well.
It would be difficult to count all the projects that Gaudí was working on but there are some outstanding creations. Two of his label-works are the Casa Batlló and the Casa Milà. The Casa Batlló is a five-floor building that facade is decorated with local sandstone. The columns are bone-shaped with vegetable decoration, balconies are decorated by iron railings in the shape of masks, and everything is colored by different fragments of colorful and glazed ceramic tiles.
Another ambitious project was the Park Güell that is in Càrmel district, Barcelona. This park is characterized by a stone and glazed-ceramic wall, a huge sculpture of salamander decorated by the colorful glazed ceramic tiles, impressive fountains, the Dragon Stairways, the Greek Theatre, the Hypostyle Room, and Austria Garden that is surrounded by huge palm trees.
Undoubtfully, the most famous artwork of Gaudí is the breathtaking church called La Sagrada Familia. Gaudí called the construction of this church the lifetime project but one life was not enough to finish the masterpiece. The construction has been started in 1882, and the architecture died in 1926. Right now, the estimated date of completion is 2026. An interesting fact is that this building supposed to be a church initially, later the status was changed into a cathedral and since 2010 La Sagrada Familia is a basilica. The project includes a cruciform plan with a five-aisled nave, a transept of three aisles, and an apse with seven chapels. The central tower in the middle will reach 170 meters tall and every little part of this basilica has a religious theme. Also, Antoni Gaudí is buried there.