Antoni GaudÃ i Cornet (Catalan pronunciation:Â [ÉnËtÉ"ni É£ÉwËÃ°i]; 25 June 1852 â" 10 June 1926) was a Spanish Catalan architect from Reus and the best known practitioner of Catalan Modernism. GaudÃ's works reflect an individualized and distinctive style. Most are located in Barcelona, including his magnum opus, the Sagrada FamÃlia.
GaudÃ's work was influenced by his passions in life: architecture, nature, and religion. GaudÃ considered every detail of his creations and integrated into his architecture such crafts as ceramics, stained glass, wrought ironwork forging and carpentry. He also introduced new techniques in the treatment of materials, such as trencadÃs which used waste ceramic pieces.
Under the influence of neo-Gothic art and Oriental techniques, GaudÃ became part of the Modernista movement which was reaching its peak in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His work transcended mainstream Modernisme, culminating in an organic style inspired by natural forms. GaudÃ rarely drew detailed plans of his works, instead preferring to create them as three-dimensional scale models and molding the details as he conceived them.
GaudÃ's work enjoys global popularity and continuing admiration and study by architects. His masterpiece, the still-incomplete Sagrada FamÃlia, is the most-visited monument in Spain. Between 1984 and 2005, seven of his works were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. GaudÃ's Roman Catholic faith intensified during his life and religious images appear in many of his works. This earned him the nickname "God's Architect" and led to calls for his beatification.
Birth, childhood and studies
Antoni GaudÃ was born in 1852 in Riudoms or Reus, to the coppersmith Francesc GaudÃ i Serra (1813â"1906) and AntÃ²nia Cornet i Bertran (1819â"1876). He was the youngest of five children, of whom three survived to adulthood: Rosa (1844â"1879), Francesc (1851â"1876) and Antoni. GaudÃ's family originated in the Auvergne region in southern France. One of his ancestors, Joan GaudÃ, a hawker, moved to Catalonia in the 17th century; possible origins of GaudÃ's family name include Gaudy or Gaudin.
GaudÃ's exact birthplace is unknown because no supporting documents have been found, leading to a controversy about whether he was born in Reus or Riudoms, two neighbouring municipalities of the Baix Camp district. Most of GaudÃ's identification documents from both his student and professional years gave Reus as his birthplace. GaudÃ stated on various occasions that he was born in Riudoms, his paternal family's village. GaudÃ was baptised in the church of Sant Pere ApÃ²stol in Reus the day after his birth under the name "Antoni PlÃ cid Guillem GaudÃ i Cornet".
GaudÃ had a deep appreciation for his native land and great pride in his Mediterranean heritage. He believed Mediterranean people to be endowed with creativity, originality and an innate sense for art and design. GaudÃ reportedly described this distinction by stating, "We own the image. Fantasy comes from the ghosts. Fantasy is what people in the North own. We are concrete. The image comes from the Mediterranean. Orestes knows his way, where Hamlet is torn apart by his doubts." Time spent outdoors, particularly during summer stays in the GaudÃ family home Mas de la Calderera, afforded GaudÃ the opportunity to study nature. GaudÃ's enjoyment of the natural world led him to join the Centre Excursionista de Catalunya in 1879 at the age of 27. The organisation arranged expeditions to explore Catalonia and southern France, often riding on horseback or walking ten kilometres a day.
Young GaudÃ suffered from poor health, including rheumatism, which may have contributed to his reticent and reserved character. These health concerns and the hygienist theories of Dr. Kneipp contributed to GaudÃ's decision to adopt vegetarianism early in his life. His religious faith and strict vegetarianism led him to undertake several lengthy and severe fasts. These fasts were often unhealthy and occasionally, as in 1894, led to life-threatening illness.
GaudÃ attended a nursery school run by Francesc Berenguer, whose son, also called Francesc, later became one of GaudÃ's main assistants. He enrolled in the Piarists school in Reus where he displayed his artistic talents via drawings for a seminar called El ArlequÃn (the Harlequin). During this time he worked as an apprentice in the "Vapor Nou" textile mill in Reus. In 1868 he moved to Barcelona to study teaching in the Convent del Carme. In his adolescent years GaudÃ became interested in utopian socialism and, together with his fellow students Eduard Toda i GÃ¼ell and Josep Ribera i Sans, planned a restoration of the Poblet monastery that would have transformed it into a Utopian phalanstÃ¨re.
Between 1875 and 1878, GaudÃ completed his compulsory military service in the infantry regiment in Barcelona as a Military Administrator. Most of his service was spent on sick leave, enabling him to continue his studies. His poor health kept him from having to fight in the Third Carlist War, which lasted from 1872 to 1876. In 1876 GaudÃ's mother died at the age of 57, as did his 25-year-old brother Francesc, who had just graduated as a physician. During this time GaudÃ studied architecture at the Llotja School and the Barcelona Higher School of Architecture, graduating in 1878. To finance his studies, GaudÃ worked as a draughtsman for various architects and constructors such as Leandre Serrallach, Joan Martorell, Emili Sala CortÃ©s, Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano and Josep FontserÃ¨. In addition to his architecture classes, he studied French, history, economics, philosophy and aesthetics. His grades were average and he occasionally failed courses. When handing him his degree, Elies Rogent, director of Barcelona Architecture School, said: "We have given this academic title either to a fool or a genius. Time will show." GaudÃ, when receiving his degree, reportedly told his friend, the sculptor LlorenÃ§ Matamala, with his ironical sense of humour, "LlorenÃ§, they're saying I'm an architect now."
Adulthood and professional work
GaudÃ's first projects were the lampposts he designed for the PlaÃ§a Reial in Barcelona, the unfinished Girossi newsstands, and the Cooperativa Obrera Mataronense (Workers' Cooperative of MatarÃ³) building. He gained wider recognition for his first important commission, the Casa Vicens, and subsequently received more significant proposals. At the Paris World's Fair of 1878 GaudÃ displayed a showcase he had produced for the glove manufacturer Comella. Its functional and aesthetic modernista design impressed Catalan industrialist Eusebi GÃ¼ell, who then commissioned some of GaudÃ's most outstanding work: the GÃ¼ell wine cellars, the GÃ¼ell pavilions, the Palau GÃ¼ell (GÃ¼ell palace), the Park GÃ¼ell (GÃ¼ell park) and the crypt of the church of the ColÃ²nia GÃ¼ell. GaudÃ also became a friend of the marquis of Comillas, the father-in-law of Count GÃ¼ell, for whom he designed "El Capricho" in Comillas.
In 1883 GaudÃ was put in charge of the recently initiated project to build a Barcelona cathedral called BasÃlica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada FamÃlia (Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family, or Sagrada FamÃlia). GaudÃ completely changed the initial design and imbued it with his own distinctive style. From 1915 until his death he devoted himself entirely to this project. Given the number of commissions he began receiving, he had to rely on his team to work on multiple projects simultaneously. His team consisted of professionals from all fields of construction. Several of the architects who worked under him became prominent in the field later on, such as Josep Maria Jujol, Joan RubiÃ³, CÃ¨sar Martinell, Francesc Folguera and Josep Francesc RÃ fols. In 1885, GaudÃ moved to rural Sant Feliu de Codines to escape the cholera epidemic that was ravaging Barcelona. He lived in Francesc Ullar's house, for whom he designed a dinner table as a sign of his gratitude.
The 1888 World Fair was one of the era's major events in Barcelona and represented a key point in the history of the Modernisme movement. Leading architects displayed their best works, including GaudÃ, who showcased the building he had designed for the CompaÃ±Ãa TrasatlÃ¡ntica (Transatlantic Company). Consequently he received a commission to restructure the SalÃ³ de Cent of the Barcelona City Council, but this project was ultimately not carried out. In the early 1890s GaudÃ received two commissions from outside of Catalonia, namely the Episcopal Palace, Astorga, and the Casa Botines in LeÃ³n. These works contributed to GaudÃ's growing renown across Spain. In 1891, he travelled to MÃ¡laga and Tangiers to examine the site for a project for the Franciscan Catholic Missions that the 2nd marquis of Comillas had requested him to design.
In 1899 GaudÃ joined the Cercle ArtÃstic de Sant Lluc (Saint Luke artistic circle), a Catholic artistic society founded in 1893 by the bishop Josep Torras i Bages and the brothers Josep and Joan Llimona. He also joined the Lliga Espiritual de la Mare de DÃ©u de Montserrat (spiritual league of Our lady of Montserrat), another Catholic Catalan organisation. The conservative and religious character of his political thought was closely linked to his defence of the cultural identity of the Catalan people.
At the beginning of the century, GaudÃ was working on numerous projects simultaneously. They reflected his shift to a more personal style inspired by nature. In 1900, he received an award for the best building of the year from the Barcelona City Council for his Casa Calvet. During the first decade of the century GaudÃ dedicated himself to projects like the Casa Figueras (Figueras house, better known as Bellesguard), the Park GÃ¼ell, an unsuccessful urbanisation project, and the restoration of the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca, for which he visited Majorca several times. Between 1904 and 1910 he constructed the Casa BatllÃ³ (BatllÃ³ house) and the Casa MilÃ (MilÃ¡ house), two of his most emblematic works.
As a result of GaudÃ's increasing fame, in 1902 the painter Joan Llimona chose GaudÃ's features to represent Saint Philip Neri in the paintings for the aisle of the Sant Felip Neri church in Barcelona. Together with Joan SantalÃ³, son of his friend the physician Pere SantalÃ³, he unsuccessfully founded a wrought iron manufacturing company the same year.
After moving to Barcelona, GaudÃ frequently changed his address: as a student he lived in residences, generally in the area of the Gothic Quarter; when he started his career he moved around several rented flats in the Eixample area. Finally, in 1906, he settled in a house in the GÃ¼ell Park that he owned and which had been constructed by his assistant Francesc Berenguer as a showcase property for the estate. It has since been transformed into the GaudÃ Museum. There he lived with his father (who died in 1906 at the age of 93) and his niece Rosa Egea GaudÃ (who died in 1912 at the age of 36). He lived in the house until 1925, several months before his death, when he began residing inside the workshop of the Sagrada FamÃlia.
An event that had a profound impact on GaudÃ's personality was Tragic Week in 1909. GaudÃ remained in his house in GÃ¼ell Park during this turbulent period. The anticlerical atmosphere and attacks on churches and convents caused GaudÃ to worry for the safety of the Sagrada FamÃlia, but the building escaped damage.
In 1910, an exhibition in the Grand Palais of Paris was devoted to his work, during the annual salon of the SociÃ©tÃ© des Beaux-Arts (Fine Arts Society) of France. GaudÃ participated on the invitation of count GÃ¼ell, displaying a series of pictures, plans and plaster scale models of several of his works. Although he participated hors concours, he received good reviews from the French press. A large part of this exposition could be seen the following year at the I SalÃ³n Nacional de Arquitectura that took place in the municipal exhibition hall of El Buen Retiro in Madrid.
During the Paris exposition in May 1910, GaudÃ spent a holiday in Vic, where he designed two basalt lampposts and wrought iron for the PlaÃ§a Major of Vic in honor of Jaume Balmes's centenary. The following year he resided as a convalescent in PuigcerdÃ while suffering from tuberculosis. During this time he conceived the idea for the facade of the Passion of the Sagrada FamÃlia. Due to ill health he prepared a will at the office of the notary Ramon CantÃ³ i Figueres on 9 June, but later completely recovered.
The decade from 1910 was a hard one for GaudÃ. During this decade, the architect experienced the deaths of his niece Rosa in 1912 and his main collaborator Francesc Berenguer in 1914; a severe economic crisis which paralysed work on the Sagrada FamÃlia in 1915; the 1916 death of his friend Josep Torras i Bages, bishop of Vic; the 1917 disruption of work at the Colonia GÃ¼ell; and the 1918 death of his friend and patron Eusebi GÃ¼ell. Perhaps because of these tragedies he devoted himself entirely to the Sagrada FamÃlia from 1915, taking refuge in his work. GaudÃ confessed to his collaborators:
My good friends are dead; I have no family and no clients, no fortune nor anything. Now I can dedicate myself entirely to the Church.
GaudÃ dedicated the last years of his life entirely to the "Cathedral of the Poor", as it was commonly known, for which he took alms in order to continue. Apart from his dedication to this cause, he participated in few other activities, the majority of which were related to his Catholic faith: in 1916 he participated in a course about Gregorian chant at the Palau de la MÃºsica Catalana taught by the Benedictine monk Gregori M. Sunyol.
GaudÃ devoted his life entirely to his profession, remaining single. He is only known to have been attracted to one womanâ"Josefa Moreu, teacher at the MatarÃ³ Cooperative, in 1884â"but this was not reciprocated. Thereafter GaudÃ took refuge in the profound spiritual peace his Catholic faith offered him. GaudÃ is often depicted as unsociable and unpleasant, a man of gruff reactions and arrogant gestures. However, those who were close to him described him as friendly and polite, pleasant to talk to and faithful to friends. Among these, his patrons Eusebi GÃ¼ell and the bishop of Vic, Josep Torras i Bages, stand out, as well as the writers Joan Maragall and Jacint Verdaguer, the physician Pere SantalÃ³ and some of his most faithful collaborators, such as Francesc Berenguer and LlorenÃ§ Matamala.
GaudÃ's personal appearanceâ"Nordic features, blond hair and blue eyesâ"changed radically over the course of time. As a young man, he dressed like a dandy in costly suits, sporting well-groomed hair and beard, indulging gourmet taste, making frequent visits to the theatre and the opera and visiting his project sites in a horse carriage. The older GaudÃ ate frugally, dressed in old, worn-out suits, and neglected his appearance to the extent that sometimes he was taken for a beggar, such as after the accident that caused his death.
GaudÃ left hardly any written documents, apart from technical reports of his works required by official authorities, some letters to friends (particularly to Joan Maragall) and a few journal articles. Some quotes collected by his assistants and disciples have been preserved, above all by Josep Francesc RÃ fols, Joan BergÃ³s, CÃ¨sar Martinell and Isidre Puig i Boada. The only written document GaudÃ left is known as the Manuscrito de Reus (Reus Manuscript) (1873â"1878), a kind of student diary in which he collected diverse impressions of architecture and decorating, putting forward his ideas on the subject. Included are an analysis of the Christian church and of his ancestral home, as well as a text about ornamentation and comments on the design of a desk.
GaudÃ was always in favour of Catalonian culture but was reluctant to become politically active to campaign for its autonomy. Politicians, such as Francesc CambÃ³ and Enric Prat de la Riba, suggested that he run for deputy but he refused. In 1920 he was beaten by police in a riot during the Floral Games celebrations. On 11 September 1924, National Day of Catalonia, he was beaten at a demonstration against the banning of the Catalan language by the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera. GaudÃ was arrested by the Civil Guard, resulting in a short stay in prison, from which he was freed after paying 50 pesetas bail.
On 7 June 1926, GaudÃ was taking his daily walk to the Sant Felip Neri church for his habitual prayer and confession. While walking along the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes between Girona and BailÃ©n streets, he was struck by a passing tram and lost consciousness. Assumed to be a beggar because of his lack of identity documents and shabby clothing, the unconscious GaudÃ did not receive immediate aid. Eventually a police officer transported him in a taxi to the Santa Creu Hospital, where he received rudimentary care. By the time that the chaplain of the Sagrada FamÃlia, MosÃ©n Gil ParÃ©s, recognised him on the following day, GaudÃ's condition had deteriorated too severely to benefit from additional treatment. GaudÃ died on 10 June 1926 at the age of 73 and was buried two days later. A large crowd gathered to bid farewell to him in the chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the crypt of the Sagrada FamÃlia. His gravestone bears this inscription:
Antonius GaudÃ Cornet. Reusensis. Annos natus LXXIV, vitae exemplaris vir, eximiusque artifex, mirabilis operis hujus, templi auctor, pie obiit Barcinone die X Junii MCMXXVI, hinc cineres tanti hominis, resurrectionem mortuorum expectant. R.I.P.
(Antoni GaudÃ Cornet. From Reus. At the age of 74, a man of exemplary life, and an extraordinary craftsman, the author of this marvelous work, the church, died piously in Barcelona on the tenth day of June 1926; henceforward the ashes of so great a man await the resurrection of the dead. May he rest in peace.)
GaudÃ and Modernisme
GaudÃ's professional life was distinctive in that he never ceased to investigate mechanical building structures. Early on, GaudÃ was inspired by oriental arts (India, Persia, Japan) through the study of the historicist architectural theoreticians, such as Walter Pater, John Ruskin and William Morris. The influence of the Oriental movement can be seen in works like the Capricho, the GÃ¼ell Palace, the GÃ¼ell Pavilions and the Casa Vicens. Later on, he adhered to the neo-Gothic movement that was in fashion at the time, following the ideas of the French architect Viollet-le-Duc. This influence is reflected in the Teresian College, the Episcopal Palace in Astorga, the Casa Botines and the Bellesguard house as well as in the crypt and the apse of the Sagrada FamÃlia. Eventually, GaudÃ embarked on a more personal phase, with the organic style inspired by nature in which he would build his major works.
During his time as a student, GaudÃ was able to study a collection of photographs of Egyptian, Indian, Persian, Mayan, Chinese and Japanese art owned by the School of Architecture. The collection also included Moorish monuments in Spain, which left a deep mark on him and served as an inspiration in many of his works. He also studied the book Plans, elevations, sections and details of the Alhambra by Owen Jones, which he borrowed from the School's library. He took various structural and ornamental solutions from nazarÃ and mudÃ©jar art, which he used with variations and stylistic freedom in his works. Notably, GaudÃ observed of Islamic art its spatial uncertainty, its concept of structures with limitless space; its feeling of sequence, fragmented with holes and partitions, which create a divide without disrupting the feeling of open space by enclosing it with barriers.
Undoubtedly the style that most influenced him was the Gothic Revival, promoted in the latter half of the 19th century by the theoretical works of Viollet-le-Duc. The French architect called for studying the styles of the past and adapting them in a rational manner, taking into account both structure and design. Nonetheless, for GaudÃ the Gothic style was "imperfect", because despite the effectiveness of some of its structural solutions it was an art that had yet to be "perfected". In his own words:
Gothic art is imperfect, only half resolved; it is a style created by the compasses, a formulaic industrial repetition. Its stability depends on constant propping up by the buttresses: it is a defective body held up on crutches. (...) The proof that Gothic works are of deficient plasticity is that they produce their greatest emotional effect when they are mutilated, covered in ivy and lit by the moon.
After these initial influences, GaudÃ moved towards Modernisme, then in its heyday. Modernisme in its earlier stages was inspired by historic architecture. Its practitioners saw its return to the past as a response to the industrial forms imposed by the Industrial Revolution's technological advances. The use of these older styles represented a moral regeneration that allowed the bourgeoisie to identify with values they regarded as their cultural roots. The RenaixenÃ§a (rebirth), the revival of Catalan culture that began in the second half of the 19th century, brought more Gothic forms into the Catalan "national" style that aimed to combine nationalism and cosmopolitanism while at the same time integrating into the European modernizing movement.
Some essential features of Modernisme were: an anticlassical language inherited from Romanticism with a tendency to lyricism and subjectivity; the determined connection of architecture with the applied arts and artistic work that produced an overtly ornamental style; the use of new materials from which emerged a mixed constructional language, rich in contrasts, that sought a plastic effect for the whole; a strong sense of optimism and faith in progress that produced an emphatic art that reflected the atmosphere of prosperity of the time, above all of the esthetic of the bourgeoisie.
Quest for a new architectural language
GaudÃ is usually considered the great master of Catalan Modernism, but his works go beyond any one style or classification. They are imaginative works that find their main inspiration in nature. GaudÃ studied organic and anarchic geometric forms of nature thoroughly, searching for a way to give expression to these forms in architecture. Some of his greatest inspirations came from visits to the mountain of Montserrat, the caves of Mallorca, the saltpetre caves in CollbatÃ³, the crag of Fra Guerau in the Prades Mountains behind Reus, the Pareis mountain in the north of Mallorca and Sant Miquel del Fai in Bigues i Riells.
This study of nature translated into his use of ruled geometrical forms such as the hyperbolic paraboloid, the hyperboloid, the helicoid and the cone, which reflect the forms GaudÃ found in nature. Ruled surfaces are forms generated by a straight line known as the generatrix, as it moves over one or several lines known as directrices. GaudÃ found abundant examples of them in nature, for instance in rushes, reeds and bones; he used to say that there is no better structure than the trunk of a tree or a human skeleton. These forms are at the same time functional and aesthetic, and GaudÃ discovered how to adapt the language of nature to the structural forms of architecture. He used to equate the helicoid form to movement and the hyperboloid to light. Concerning ruled surfaces, he said:
Paraboloids, hyperboloids and helicoids, constantly varying the incidence of the light, are rich in matrices themselves, which make ornamentation and even modelling unnecessary.
Another element widely used by GaudÃ was the catenary curve. He had studied geometry thoroughly when he was young, studying numerous articles about engineering, a field that praised the virtues of the catenary curve as a mechanical element, one which at that time, however, was used only in the construction of suspension bridges. GaudÃ was the first to use this element in common architecture. Catenary arches in works like the Casa MilÃ , the Teresian College, the crypt of the ColÃ²nia GÃ¼ell and the Sagrada FamÃlia allowed GaudÃ to add an element of great strength to his structures, given that the catenary distributes the weight it regularly carries evenly, being affected only by self-canceling tangential forces.
GaudÃ evolved from plane to spatial geometry, to ruled geometry. These constructional forms are highly suited to the use of cheap materials such as brick. GaudÃ frequently used brick laid with mortar in successive layers, as in the traditional Catalan vault. This quest for new structural solutions culminated between 1910 and 1920, when he exploited his research and experience in his masterpiece, the Sagrada FamÃlia. GaudÃ conceived this church as if it were the structure of a forest, with a set of tree-like columns divided into various branches to support a structure of intertwined hyperboloid vaults. He inclined the columns so they could better resist the perpendicular pressures on their section. He also gave them a double-turn helicoid shape (right turn and left turn), as in the branches and trunks of trees. This created a structure that is now known as fractal. Together with a modulation of the space that divides it into small, independent and self-supporting modules, it creates a structure that perfectly supports the mechanical traction forces without need for buttresses, as required by the neo-Gothic style. GaudÃ thus achieved a rational, structured and perfectly logical solution, creating at the same time a new architectural style that was original, simple, practical and aesthetic.
Surpassing the Gothic
This new constructional technique allowed GaudÃ to achieve his greatest architectural goal; to perfect and go beyond Gothic style. The hyperboloid vaults have their centre where Gothic vaults had their keystone, and the hyperboloid allows for a hole in this space to let natural light in. In the intersection between vaults, where Gothic vaults have ribs, the hyperboloid allows for holes as well, which GaudÃ employed to give the impression of a starry sky.
GaudÃ complemented this organic vision of architecture with a unique spatial vision that allowed him to conceive his designs in three dimensions, unlike the flat design of traditional architecture. He used to say that he had acquired this spatial sense as a boy by looking at the drawings his father made of the boilers and stills he produced. Because of this spatial conception, GaudÃ always preferred to work with casts and scale models or even improvise on site as a work progressed. Reluctant to draw plans, only on rare occasions did he sketch his works, in fact only when required by authorities.
Another of GaudÃ's innovations in the technical realm was the use of a scale model to calculate structures: for the church of the ColÃ²nia GÃ¼ell, he built a 1:10 scale model with a height of 4 metres (13Â ft) in a shed next to the building. There, he set up a model that had strings with small bags full of birdshot hanging from them. On a drawing board that was attached to the ceiling he drew the floor of the church, and he hung the strings (for the catenaries) with the birdshot (for the weight) from the supporting points of the buildingâ"columns, intersection of walls. These weights produced a catenary curve in both the arches and vaults. At that point, he took a picture that, when inverted, showed the structure for columns and arches that GaudÃ was looking for. GaudÃ then painted over these photographs with gouache or pastel. The outline of the church defined, he recorded every single detail of the building: architectural, stylistic and decorative.
GaudÃ's position in the history of architecture is that of a creative genius who, inspired by nature, developed a style of his own that attained technical perfection as well as aesthetic value, and bore the mark of his character. GaudÃ's structural innovations were to an extent the result of his journey through various styles, from Doric to Baroque via Gothic, his main inspiration. It could be said that these styles culminated in his work, which reinterpreted and perfected them. GaudÃ passed through the historicism and eclecticism of his generation without connecting with other architectural movements of the 20th century that, with their rationalist postulates, derived from the Bauhaus school, and represented an antithetical evolution to that initiated by GaudÃ, given that it later reflected the disdain and the initial lack of comprehension of the work of the modernista architect.
Among other factors that led to the initial neglect of the Catalan architect's work was that despite having numerous assistants and helpers, GaudÃ created no school of his own and never taught, nor did he leave written documents. Some of his subordinates adopted his innovations, above all Francesc Berenguer and Josep Maria Jujol; others, like CÃ¨sar Martinell, Francesc Folguera and Josep Francesc RÃ fols graduated towards Noucentisme, leaving the master's trail. Despite this, a degree of influence can be discerned in some architects that either formed part of the Modernista movement or departed from it and who had had no direct contact with him, such as Josep Maria Pericas (Casa AlÃ²s, Ripoll), BernardÃ Martorell (Olius cemetery) and LluÃs Muncunill (MasÃa Freixa, Terrassa). Nonetheless, GaudÃ left a deep mark on 20th-century architecture: masters like Le Corbusier declared themselves admirers, and the works of other architects like Pier Luigi Nervi, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Oscar Niemeyer, FÃ©lix Candela, Eduardo Torroja and Santiago Calatrava were inspired by GaudÃ. Frei Otto used GaudÃ's forms in the construction of the Munich Olympic Stadium. In Japan, the work of Kenji Imai bears evidence of GaudÃ's influence, as can be seen in the Memorial for the Twenty-six Martyrs of Japan in Nagasaki (Japanese National Architecture Award in 1962), where the use of GaudÃ's famous "trencadÃs" stands out.
Design and craftsmanship
During his student days, GaudÃ attended craft workshops, such as those taught by Eudald PuntÃ, LlorenÃ§ Matamala and Joan OÃ±Ã³s, where he learned the basic aspects of techniques relating to architecture, including sculpture, carpentry, wrought ironwork, stained glass, ceramics, plaster modelling, etc. He also absorbed new technological developments, integrating into his technique the use of iron and reinforced concrete in construction. GaudÃ took a broad view of architecture as a multifunctional design, in which every single detail in an arrangement has to be harmoniously made and well-proportioned. This knowledge allowed him to design architectural projects, including all the elements of his works, from furnishings to illumination to wrought ironwork.
GaudÃ was also an innovator in the realm of craftsmanship, conceiving new technical and decorative solutions with his materials, for example his way of designing ceramic mosaics made of waste pieces ("trencadÃs") in original and imaginative combinations. For the restoration of Mallorca Cathedral he invented a new technique to produce stained glass, which consisted of juxtaposing three glass panes of primary colours, and sometimes a neutral one, varying the thickness of the glass in order to graduate the light's intensity.
This was how he personally designed many of the Sagrada FamÃlia's sculptures. He would thoroughly study the anatomy of the figure, concentrating on gestures. For this purpose, he studied the human skeleton and sometimes used dummies made of wire to test the appropriate posture of the figure he was about to sculpt. In a second step, he photographed his models, using a mirror system that provided multiple perspectives. He then made plaster casts of the figures, both of people and animals (on one occasion he made a donkey stand up so it would not move). He modified the proportions of these casts to obtain the figure's desired appearance, depending on its place in the church (the higher up, the bigger it would be). Eventually, he sculpted the figures in stone.
Urban spaces and landscaping
GaudÃ also practiced landscaping, often in urban settings. He aimed to place his works in the most appropriate natural and architectural surroundings by studying the location of his constructions thoroughly and trying to naturally integrate them into those surroundings. For this purpose, he often used the material that was most common in the nearby environment, such as the slate of Bellesguard and the grey Bierzo granite in the Episcopal Palace, Astorga. Many of his projects were gardens, such as the GÃ¼ell Park and the Can Artigas Gardens, or incorporated gardens, as in the Casa Vicens or the GÃ¼ell Pavilions. GaudÃ's harmonious approach to landscaping is exemplified at the First Mystery of the Glory of the Rosary at Montserrat, where the architectural framework is nature itselfâ"here the Montserrat rockâ"nature encircles the group of sculptures that adorned the path to the Holy Cave.
Equally, GaudÃ stood out as interior decorator, decorating most of his buildings personally, from the furnishings to the smallest details. In each case he knew how to apply stylistic particularities, personalising the decoration according to the owner's taste, the predominant style of the arrangement or its place in the surroundingsâ"whether urban or natural, secular or religious. Many of his works were related to liturgical furnishing. From the design of a desk for his office at the beginning of his career to the furnishings designed for the Sobrellano Palace of Comillas, he designed all furnishing of the Vicens, Calvet, BatllÃ³ and MilÃ houses, of the GÃ¼ell Palace and the Bellesguard Tower, and the liturgical furnishing of the Sagrada FamÃlia. It is noteworthy that GaudÃ studied some ergonomy in order to adapt his furnishings to human anatomy. Many of his furnishings are exhibited at GaudÃ Museum.
Another aspect is the intelligent distribution of space, always with the aim of creating a comfortable, intimate, interior atmosphere. For this purpose, GaudÃ would divide the space into sections, adapted to their specific use, by means of low walls, dropped ceilings, sliding doors and wall closets. Apart from taking care of every detail of all structural and ornamental elements, he made sure his constructions had good lighting and ventilation. For this purpose, he studied each project's orientation with respect to the cardinal points, as well as the local climate and its place in its surroundings. At that time, there was an increasing demand for more domestic comfort, with piped water and gas and the use of electric light, all of which GaudÃ expertly incorporated. For the Sagrada FamÃlia, for example, he carried out thorough studies on acoustics and illumination, in order to optimise them. With regard to light, he stated:
Light achieves maximum harmony at an inclination of 45Â°, since it resides on objects in a way that is neither horizontal nor vertical. This can be considered medium light, and it offers the most perfect vision of objects and their most exquisite nuances. It is the Mediterranean light.
Lighting also served GaudÃ for the organisation of space, which required a careful study of the gradient of light intensity to adequately adapt to each specific environment. He achieved this with different elements such as skylights, windows, shutters and blinds; a notable case is the gradation of colour used in the atrium of the Casa BatllÃ³ to achieve uniform distribution of light throughout the interior. He also tended to build south-facing houses to maximise sunlight.
GaudÃ's work is normally classed as modernista, and it belongs to this movement because of its eagerness to renovate without breaking with tradition, its quest for modernity, the ornamental sense applied to works, and the multidisciplinary character of its undertakings, where craftsmanship plays a central role. To this, GaudÃ adds a dose of the baroque, adopts technical advances and continues to use traditional architectural language. Together with his inspiration from nature and the original touch of his works, this amalgam gives his works their personal and unique character in the history of architecture.
Chronologically, it is difficult to establish guidelines that illustrate the evolution of GaudÃ's style faithfully. Although he moved on from his initially historicist approach to immerse himself completely in the modernista movement which arose so vigorously in the last third of the 19th century in Catalonia, before finally attaining his personal, organic style, this process did not consist of clearly defined stages with obvious boundaries: rather, at every stage there are reflections of all the earlier ones, as he gradually assimilated and surpassed them. One of the best descriptions of GaudÃ's work was made by his disciple and biographer Joan BergÃ³s, according to plastic and structural criteria. BergÃ³s establishes five periods in GaudÃ's productions: preliminary period, mudÃ©jar-morisco (Moorish/mudÃ©jar art), emulated Gothic, naturalist and expressionist, and organic synthesis.
GaudÃs first works both from his student days and the time just after his graduation stand out for the precision of their details, the use of geometry and the prevalence of mechanical considerations in the structural calculations.
During his studies, GaudÃ designed various projects, among which the following stand out: a cemetery gate (1875), a Spanish pavilion for the Philadelphia World Fair of 1876, a quay-side building (1876), a courtyard for the DiputaciÃ³ de Barcelona (1876), a monumental fountain for the PlaÃ§a Catalunya in Barcelona (1877) and a university assembly hall (1877).
Antoni GaudÃ started his professional career while still at university. To pay for his studies, he worked as a draughtsman for some of the most outstanding Barcelona architects of the time, such as Joan Martorell, Josep FontserÃ¨, Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano, Leandre Serrallach and Emili Sala CortÃ©s. GaudÃ had a long-standing relationship with Josep FontserÃ¨, since his family was also from Riudoms and they had known each other for some time. Despite not having an architecture degree, FontserÃ¨ received the commission from the city council for the Parc de la Ciutadella development, carried out between 1873 and 1882. For this project, GaudÃ was in charge of the design of the Park's entrance gate, the bandstand's balustrade and the water project for the monumental fountain, where he designed an artificial cave that showed his liking for nature and the organic touch he would give his architecture.
GaudÃ worked for Francisco de Paula del Villar on the apse of the Montserrat monastery, designing the niche for the image of the Black Virgin of Montserrat in 1876. He would later substitute Villar in the works of the Sagrada FamÃlia. With Leandre Serrallach, he worked on a tram line project to Villa Arcadia in MontjuÃ¯c. Eventually, he collaborated with Joan Martorell on the Jesuit church on Carrer Casp and the Salesian convent in Passeig de Sant Joan, as well as the Villaricos church (AlmerÃa). He also carried out a project for Martorell for the competition for a new facade for Barcelona cathedral, which was never accepted. His relationship with Martorell, whom he always considered one of his main and most influential masters, brought him unexpected luck; he later recommended GaudÃ for the Sagrada FamÃlia.
Early post-graduation projects
After his graduation as an architect in 1878, GaudÃ's first work was a set of lampposts for the PlaÃ§a Reial, the project for the Girossi newsstands and the MatarÃ³ cooperative, which was his first important work. He received the request from the city council of Barcelona in February 1878, when he had graduated but not yet received his degree, which was sent from Madrid on 15 March of the same year. For this commission he designed two types of lampposts: one with six arms, of which two were installed in the PlaÃ§a Reial, and another with three, of which two were installed in the Pla del Palau, opposite the Civil Government. The lampposts were inaugurated during the MercÃ¨ festivities in 1879. Made of cast iron with a marble base, they have a decoration in which the caduceus of Mercury is prominent, symbol of commerce and emblem of Barcelona.
The Girossi newsstands project, which was never carried out, was a commission from the tradesman Enrique Girossi de Sanctis. It would have consisted of 20 newsstands, spread throughout Barcelona. Each would have included a public lavatory, a flower stand and glass panels for advertisements as well as a clock, a calendar, a barometer and a thermometer. GaudÃ conceived a structure with iron pillars and marble and glass slabs, crowned by a large iron and glass roof, with a gas illumination system.
The Cooperativa Obrera Mataronense (MatarÃ³ Workers' Cooperative) was GaudÃ's first big project, on which he worked from 1878 to 1882, for Salvador PagÃ¨s i Anglada. The project, for the cooperative's head office in MatarÃ³, comprised a factory, a worker's housing estate, a social centre and a services building, though only the factory and the services building were completed. In the factory roof GaudÃ used the catenary arch for the first time, with a bolt assembly system devised by Philibert de l'Orme. He also used ceramic tile decoration for the first time in the services building. GaudÃ laid out the site taking account of solar orientation, another signature of his works, and included landscaped areas. He even designed the Cooperative's banner, with the figure of a bee, symbol of industriousness.
In May 1878 GaudÃ designed a display cabinet for the Esteban Comella glove factory, which was exhibited in the Spanish pavilion at the Paris World Exhibition that year. It was this work that attracted the attention of the entrepreneur Eusebi GÃ¼ell, visiting the French capital; he was so impressed that he wanted to meet GaudÃ on his return, beginning a long friendship and professional collaboration. GÃ¼ell became GaudÃ's main patron and sponsor of many of his large projects.
First GÃ¼ell projects
GÃ¼ell's first task for GaudÃ, that same year, was the design of the furniture for the pantheon chapel of the Palacio de Sobrellano in Comillas, which was then being constructed by Joan Martorell, GaudÃ's teacher, at the request of the Marquis of Comillas, GÃ¼ell's father in law. GaudÃ designed a chair, a bench and a prayer stool: the chair was upholstered with velvet, finished with two eagles and the Marquis's coat of arms; the bench stands out with the motif of a dragon, designed by LlorenÃ§ Matamala; the prayer stool is decorated with plants.
Also in 1878 he drew up the plans for a theatre in the former town of Sant Gervasi de Cassoles (now a district of Barcelona); GaudÃ did not take part in the construction of the theatre, which no longer exists. The following year he designed the furniture and counter for the Gibert Pharmacy, with marquetry of Arab influence. The same year he made five drawings for a procession in honour of the poet Francesc Vicent Garcia i Torres in Vallfogona de Riucorb, where this celebrated 17th-century writer and friend of Lope de Vega was the parish priest. GaudÃ's project was centred on the poet and on several aspects of agricultural work, such as reaping and harvesting grapes and olives; however, as a result of organisational problems GaudÃ's ideas were not carried out.
Between 1879 and 1881 he drew up a proposal for the decoration of the church of Sant PaciÃ , belonging to the Colegio de JesÃºs-MarÃa in Sant Andreu del Palomar: he created the altar in a Gothic style, the monstrance with Byzantine influence, the mosaics and the lighting, as well as the school's furniture. The church caught fire during the Tragic Week of 1909, and now only the mosaics remain, of "opus tesselatum", probably the work of the Italian mosaicist Luigi Pellerin. He was given the task of decorating the church of the Colegio de JesÃºs-MarÃa in Tarragona (1880â"1882): he created the altar in white Italian marble, and its front part, or antependium, with four columns bearing medallions of polychrome alabaster, with figures of angels; the ostensory with gilt wood, the work of Eudald PuntÃ, decorated with rosaries, angels, tetramorph symbols and the dove of the Holy Ghost; and the choir stalls, which were destroyed in 1936.
In 1880 he designed an electric lighting project for Barcelona's Muralla de Mar, or seawall, which was not carried out. It consisted of eight large iron streetlamps, profusely decorated with plant motifs, friezes, shields and names of battles and Catalan admirals. The same year he participated in the competition for the construction of the San SebastiÃ¡n social centre (now town hall), won by Luis AladrÃ©n Mendivi and Adolfo Morales de los RÃos; GaudÃ submitted a project that synthesised several of his earlier studies, such as the fountain for the PlaÃ§a Catalunya and the courtyard of the Provincial Council.
Collaboration with Martorell
A new task of the GÃ¼ell-LÃ³pez's for Comillas was the gazebo for Alfonso XII's visit to the Cantabrian town in 1881. GaudÃ designed a small pavilion in the shape of a Hindu turban, covered in mosaics and decorated with an abundance of small bells which jingled constantly. It was subsequently moved into the GÃ¼ell Pavilions.
In 1882 he designed a Benedictine monastery and a church dedicated to the Holy Spirit in Villaricos (Cuevas de Vera, Almeria) for his former teacher, Joan Martorell. It was of neo-Gothic design, similar to the Convent of the Salesians that GaudÃ also planned with Martorell. Ultimately it was not carried out, and the project plans were destroyed in the looting of the Sagrada FamÃlia in 1936. The same year he was tasked with constructing a hunting lodge and wine cellars at a country residence known as La Cuadra, in Garraf (Sitges), property of baron Eusebi GÃ¼ell. Ultimately the wine cellars, but not the lodge, were built some years later. With Martorell he also collaborated on three other projects: the church of the Jesuit School in Carrer Caspe; the Convent of the Salesians in Passeig de Sant Joan, a neo-Gothic project with an altar in the centre of the crossing; and the facade project for Barcelona cathedral, for the competition convened by the cathedral chapter in 1882, ultimately won by Josep Oriol Mestres and August Font i Carreras.
GaudÃ's collaboration with Martorell was a determining factor in GaudÃ's recommendation for the Sagrada FamÃlia. The church was the idea of Josep Maria Bocabella, founder of the Devotees of Saint Joseph Association, which acquired a complete block of Barcelona's Eixample district. The project was originally entrusted to Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano, who planned the construction of a neo-Gothic church, on which work began in 1882. However, the following year Villar resigned due to disagreements with the construction board, and the task went to GaudÃ, who completely redesigned the project, apart from the part of the crypt that had already been built. GaudÃ devoted the rest of his life to the construction of the church, which was to be the synthesis of all of his architectural discoveries.
During these years GaudÃ completed a series of works with a distinctly oriental flavour, inspired by the art of the Middle and Far East (India, Persia, Japan), as well as Islamic-Hispanic art, mainly Mudejar and Nazari. GaudÃ used ceramic tile decoration abundantly, as well as Moorish arches, columns of exposed brick and pinnacles in the shape of pavilions or domes.
Between 1883 and 1888 he constructed the Casa Vicens, commissioned by stockbroker Manuel Vicens i Montaner. It was constructed with four floors, with facades on three sides and an extensive garden, including a monumental brick fountain. The house was surrounded by a wall with iron gates, decorated with palmetto leaves, work of LlorenÃ§ Matamala. The walls of the house are of stone alternated with lines of tile, which imitate yellow flowers typical of this area; the house is topped with chimneys and turrets. In the interior the polychrome wooden roof beams stand out, adorned with floral themes of papier machÃ©; the walls are decorated with vegetable motifs, as well as paintings by Josep Torrescasana; finally, the floor consists of Roman-style mosaics of "opus tesselatum". One of the most original rooms is the smoking room, notable the ceiling, decorated with Moorish honeycomb-work, reminiscent of the Generalife in the Alhambra in Granada.
In the same year, 1883, GaudÃ designed the SantÃsimo Sacramento chapel for the parish church of San FÃ©lix de Alella, as well as some topographical plans for the Can Rosell de la Llena country residence in Gelida. He also received a commission to build a small annex to the Palacio de Sobrellano, for the Baron of Comillas, in the Cantabrian town of the same name. Known as El Capricho, it was commissioned by MÃ¡ximo DÃaz de Quijano and constructed between 1883 and 1885. CristÃ²for Cascante i Colom, GaudÃ's fellow student, directed the construction. In an oriental style, it has an elongated shape, on three levels and a cylindrical tower in the shape of a Persian minaret, faced completely in ceramics. The entrance is set behind four columns supporting depressed arches, with capitals decorated with birds and leaves, similar to those that can be seen at the Casa Vicens. Notable are the main lounge, with its large sash window, and the smoking room with a ceiling consisting of a false Arab-style stucco vault.
GaudÃ carried out a second commission from Eusebi GÃ¼ell between 1884 and 1887, the GÃ¼ell Pavilions in Pedralbes, now on the outskirts of Barcelona. GÃ¼ell had a country residence in Les Corts de SarriÃ , consisting of two adjacent properties known as Can Feliu and Can CuyÃ s de la Riera. The architect Joan Martorell had built a Caribbean-style mansion, which was demolished in 1919 to make way for the Royal Palace of Pedralbes. GaudÃ undertook to refurbish the house and construct a wall and porter's lodge. He completed the stone wall with several entrances, the main entrance with an iron gate in the shape of a dragon, with symbology allusive to the myths of Hercules and the Garden of the Hesperides. The buildings consist of a stable, covered longeing ring and porter's lodge: the stable has a rectangular base and catenary arches; the longeing ring has a square base with a hyperboloid dome; the porter's lodge consists of three small buildings, the central one being polygonal with a hyperbolic dome, and the other two smaller and cubic. All three are topped by ventilators in the shape of chimneys faced with ceramics. The walls are of exposed brick in various shades of reds and yellows; in certain sections prefabricated cement blocks are also used. The Pavilions are now the headquarters of the Real CÃ¡tedra GaudÃ, of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia.
In 1885 GaudÃ accepted a commission from Josep Maria Bocabella, promotor of the Sagrada FamÃlia, for an altar in the oratory of the Bocabella family, who had obtained permission from the Pope to have an altar in their home. The altar is made of varnished mahogany, with a slab of white marble in the centre for relics. It is decorated with plants and religious motifs, such as the Greek letters alpha and omega, symbol of the beginning and end, gospel phrases and images of Saint Francis of Paola, Saint Teresa of Avila and the Holy Family and closed with a curtain of crimson embroidery. It was made by the cabinet maker Frederic LabÃ²ria, who also collaborated with GaudÃ on the Sagrada FamÃlia.
Shortly after, GaudÃ received an important new commission from GÃ¼ell: the construction of his family house, in the Carrer Nou de la Rambla in Barcelona. The Palau GÃ¼ell (1886â"1888) continues the tradition of large Catalan urban mansions such as those in Carrer Montcada. GaudÃ designed a monumental entrance with a magnificent parabolic arch above iron gates, decorated with the Catalan coat of arms and a helmet with a winged dragon, the work of Joan OÃ±Ã³s. A notable feature is the triple-height entrance hall; it is the core of the building, surrounded by the main rooms of the palace, and it is remarkable for its double dome, parabolic within and conical on the outside, a solution typical of Byzantine art. For the gallery on the street facade GaudÃ used an original system of catenary arches and columns with hyperbolic capitals, a style he used only here. He designed the interior of the palace with a sumptuous Mudejar-style decoration, where the wood and iron coffered ceilings stand out. The chimneys on the roof are a remarkable feature, faced in vividly coloured ceramic tiles, as is the tall spire in the form of a lantern tower, which is the external termination of the dome within, and is also faced with ceramic tiles and topped with an iron weather vane.
On the occasion of the World Expo held in Barcelona in 1888, GaudÃ constructed the pavilion for the CompaÃ±Ãa TrasatlÃ¡ntica, property of the Marquis of Comillas, in the Maritime Section of the event. He created it in a Granadinian Nazari style, with horseshoe arches and stucco decoration; the building survived until the Passeig MarÃtim was opened up in 1960. In the wake of the event he received a commission from Barcelona Council to restore the SalÃ³ de Cent and the grand stairs in Barcelona City Hall, as well as a chair for the queen Maria Cristina; only the chair was made, and Mayor Francesc Rius i Taulet presented it to the Queen.
During this period GaudÃ was inspired above all by mediaeval Gothic art, but wanted to improve on its structural solutions. Neo-gothic was one of the most successful historicist styles at that time, above all as a result of the theoretical studies of Viollet-le-Duc. GaudÃ studied examples in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Roussillon in depth, as well as Leonese and Castillian buildings during his stays in LeÃ³n and Burgos, and became convinced that it was an imperfect style, leaving major structural issues only partly resolved. In his works he eliminated the need of buttresses through the use of ruled surfaces, and abolished crenellations and excessive openwork.
The first example was the Teresian College (ColÂ·legi de les Teresianes) (1888â"1889), in Barcelona's Carrer Ganduxer, commissioned by San Enrique de OssÃ³. GaudÃ fulfilled the wish of the order that the building should be austere, in keeping with their vows of poverty. He designed a simple building, using bricks for the exterior and some brick elements for the interior. Wrought ironwork, one of GaudÃ's favourite materials, appeared on the facades. The building is crowned by a row of merlons which suggest a castle, a possible reference to Saint Teresa's Interior Castle. The corners have brick pinnacles topped by helicoidal columns and culminate in a four-armed cross, typical of GaudÃ's works, and with ceramic shields bearing various symbols of the order. The interior includes a corridor which is famous for the series of catenary arches that it contains. These elegant arches are decorative and support the ceiling and the floor above. For GaudÃ, the catenary arch was an ideal constructional element, capable of supporting great loads with slender masonry.
GaudÃ received his next commission from a clergyman who had been a boyhood friend in his native Reus. When he was appointed bishop of Astorga, Joan Baptista Grau i VallespinÃ³s asked GaudÃ to design a new episcopal palace for the city, as the previous building had caught fire. Constructed between 1889 and 1915, in a neo-Gothic style with four cylindrical towers, it was surrounded by a moat. The stone with which it was built (grey granite from the El Bierzo area) is in harmony with its surroundings, particularly with the cathedral in its immediate vicinity, as well as with the natural landscape, which in late 19th-century Astorga was more visible than today. The porch has three large flared arches, built of ashlar and separated by sloping buttresses. The structure is supported by columns with decorated capitals and by ribbed vaults on pointed arches, and topped with Mudejar-style merlons. GaudÃ resigned from the project in 1893, at the death of Bishop Grau, due to disagreements with the Chapter, and it was finished in 1915 by Ricardo GarcÃa Guereta. It currently houses a museum about the Way of Saint James, which passes through Astorga
Another of GaudÃ's projects outside of Catalonia was the Casa de los Botines, in LeÃ³n (1891â"1894), commissioned by SimÃ³n FernÃ¡ndez FernÃ¡ndez and Mariano AndrÃ©s Luna, textile merchants from Leon, who were recommended GaudÃ by Eusebi GÃ¼ell, with whom they did business. GaudÃ's project was an impressive neo-Gothic style building, which bears his unmistakable modernista imprint. The building was used to accommodate offices and textile shops on the lower floors, as well as apartments on the upper floors. It was constructed with walls of solid limestone. The building is flanked by four cylindrical turrets surmounted by slate spires, and surrounded by an area with an iron grille. The Gothic facade style, with its cusped arches, has a clock and a sculpture of Saint George and the Dragon, the work of LlorenÃ§ Matamala. As of 2010 it was the headquarters of the Caja EspaÃ±a.
In 1892 GaudÃ was commissioned by Claudio LÃ³pez Bru, second Marquis of Comillas, with the Franciscana Catholic Missions for the city of Tangier, in Morocco (at the time a Spanish colony). The project included a church, hospital and school, and GaudÃ conceived a quadrilobulate ground-plan floor structure, with catenary arches, parabolic towers, and hyperboloid windows. GaudÃ deeply regretted the project's eventual demise, always keeping his design with him. In spite of this, the project influenced the works of the Sagrada FamÃlia, in particular the design of the towers, with their paraboloid shape like those of the Missions.
In 1895 he designed a funerary chapel for the GÃ¼ell family at the abbey of Montserrat, but little is known about this work, which was never built. That year, construction finally began on the Bodegas GÃ¼ell, the 1882 project for a hunting lodge and some wineries at La Cuadra de Garraf (Sitges), property of Eusebi GÃ¼ell. Constructed between 1895 and 1897 under the direction of Francesc Berenguer, GaudÃ's aide, the wineries have a triangular end facade, a very steep stone roof, a group of chimneys and two bridges that join them to an older building. It has three floors: the bottom one for a garage, an apartment and a chapel with catenary arches, with the altar in the centre. It was completed with a porter's lodge, notable for the iron gate in the shape of a fishing net.
In the township of Sant Gervasi de Cassoles (now a district of Barcelona), the widow of Jaume Figueras commissioned GaudÃ to renovate the Torre Bellesguard (1900â"1909), former summer palace of King Martin I the Humane. GaudÃ designed it in a neo-Gothic style, respecting the former building as much as possible, and tried as always to integrate the architecture into the natural surroundings. This influenced his choice of local slate for the construction. The building's ground-plan measures 15 x 15 meters, with the corners oriented to the four cardinal points. Constructed in stone and brick, it is taller than it is wide, with a spire topped with the four-armed cross, the Catalan flag and the royal crown. The house has a basement, ground floor, first floor and an attic, with a gable roof.
During this period GaudÃ perfected his personal style, inspired by the organic shapes of nature, putting into practise a whole series of new structural solutions originating from his deep analysis of ruled geometry. To this he added a great creative freedom and an imaginative ornamental style. His works acquired a great structural richness, with shapes and volumes devoid of rational rigidity or any classic premise.
Commissioned by the company Hijos de Pedro MÃ¡rtir Calvet, GaudÃ built the Casa Calvet (1898â"1899), in Barcelona's Carrer Casp. The facade is built of MontjuÃ¯c stone, adorned with wrought iron balconies and topped with two pediments with wrought iron crosses. Another notable feature of the facade is the gallery on the main floor, decorated with plant and mythological motifs. For this project GaudÃ used a Baroque style, visible in the use of Solomonic columns, decoration with floral themes and the design of the terraced roof . In 1900 he won the award for the best building of the year from Barcelona City Council.
A virtually unknown work by GaudÃ is the Casa ClapÃ©s (1899â"1900), at 125 Carrer Escorial, commissioned by the painter Aleix ClapÃ©s, who collaborated on occasion with GaudÃ, such as in decorating the Palau GÃ¼ell and the Casa MilÃ . It has a ground floor and three apartments, with stuccoed walls and cast-iron balconies. Due to its lack of decoration or original structural solutions its authorship was unknown until 1976, when the architect's signed plans by GaudÃ were discovered. In 1900 he renovated the house of Dr. Pere SantalÃ³, at 32 Carrer Nou de la Rambla, a work of equally low importance. SantalÃ³ was a friend of GaudÃ's, whom he accompanied during his stay in PuigcerdÃ in 1911.It was he who recommended him to do manual work for his rheumatism.
Also in 1900 he designed two banners: for the OrfeÃ³ FeliuÃ (of Sant Feliu de Codines), made of brass, leather, cork and silk, with ornamental motifs based on the martyrdom of San FÃ©lix (a millstone), music (a staff and clef) and the inscription "OrfeÃ³ FeliuÃ "; and Our Lady of Mercy of Reus, for the pilgrimage of the Reus residents of Barcelona, with an image of Isabel Besora, the shepherdess to whom the Virgin appeared in 1592, work of Aleix ClapÃ©s and, on the back, a rose and the Catalan flag. In the same year, for the shrine of Our Lady of Mercy in Reus, GaudÃ outlined a project for the renovation of the church's main facade, which ultimately was not undertaken, as the board considered it too expensive. GaudÃ took this rejection quite badly, leaving some bitterness towards Reus, possibly the source of his subsequent claim that Riudoms was his place of birth. Between 1900 and 1902 GaudÃ worked on the Casa Miralles, commissioned by the industrialist Hermenegild Miralles i AnglÃ¨s; GaudÃ designed only the wall near the gateway, of undulating masonry, with an iron gate topped with the four-armed cross. Subsequently, the house for SeÃ±or Miralles was designed by DomÃ¨nec SugraÃ±es, associate architect of GaudÃ.
GaudÃ's main new project at the beginning of the 20th century was the Park GÃ¼ell (1900â"1914), commissioned by Eusebi GÃ¼ell. It was intended to be a residential estate in the style of an English garden city. The project was unsuccessful: of the 60 plots into which the site was divided only one was sold. Despite this, the park entrances and service areas were built, displaying GaudÃ's genius and putting into practise many of his innovative structural solutions. The Park GÃ¼ell is situated in Barcelona's CÃ rmel district, a rugged area, with steep slopes that GaudÃ negotiated with a system of viaducts integrated into the terrain. The main entrance to the park has a building on each side, intended as a porter's lodge and an office, and the site is surrounded by a stone and glazed-ceramic wall. These entrance buildings are an example of GaudÃ at the height of his powers, with Catalan vaults that form a parabolic hyperboloid. After passing through the gate, steps lead to higher levels, decorated with sculpted fountains, notably the dragon fountain, which has become a symbol of the park and one of GaudÃ's most recognised emblems. These steps lead to the Hypostyle Hall, which was to have been the residents' market, constructed with large Doric columns. Above this chamber is a large plaza in the form of a Greek theatre, with the famous undulating bench covered in broken ceramics ("trencadÃs"), the work of Josep Maria Jujol. The park's show home, the work of Francesc Berenguer, was GaudÃ's residence from 1906 to 1926, and currently houses the Casa-Museu GaudÃ.
During this period GaudÃ contributed to a group project, the Rosary of Montserrat (1900â"1916). Located on the way to the Holy Cave of Montserrat, it was a series of groups of sculptures that evoked the mysteries of the Virgin, who tells the rosary. This project involved the best architects and sculptors of the era, and is a curious example of Catalan Modernism. GaudÃ designed the First Mystery of Glory, which represents the Holy Sepulcher. The series include a statue of Christ Risen, the work of Josep Llimona, and the Three Marys sculpted by DionÃs Renart. Another monumental project designed by GaudÃ for Montserrat was never carried out: it would have included crowning the summit of El Cavall Bernat (one of the mountain peaks) with a viewpoint in the shape of a royal crown, incorporating a 20 metres (66Â ft) high Catalan coat of arms into the wall.
In 1901 GaudÃ decorated the house of Isabel GÃ¼ell LÃ³pez, Marchioness of Castelldosrius, and daughter of Eusebi GÃ¼ell. Situated at 19 Carrer Junta de ComerÃ§, the house had been built in 1885 and renovated between 1901 and 1904; it was destroyed by a bomb during the Civil War. The following year GaudÃ took part in the decoration of the Bar Torino, property of Flaminio Mezzalana, located at 18 Passeig de GrÃ cia; GaudÃ designed the ornamentation of el SalÃ³n Ãrabe of that establishment, made with varnished Arabian-style cardboard tiles (which no longer exist).
A project of great interest to GaudÃ was the restoration of the Cathedral of Santa Maria in Palma de Mallorca (1903â"1914), commissioned by the city's bishop, Pere Campins i BarcelÃ³. GaudÃ planned a series of works including removing the baroque altarpiece, revealing the bishop's throne, moving the choir-stalls from the centre of the nave and placing them in the presbytery, clearing the way through chapel of the Holy Trinity, placing new pulpits, fitting the cathedral with electrical lighting, uncovering the Gothic windows of the Royal Chapel and filling them with stained glass, placing a large canopy above the main altar and completing the decoration with paintings. This was coordinated by Joan RubiÃ³ i Bellver, GaudÃ's assistant. Josep Maria Jujol and the painters JoaquÃn Torres GarcÃa, Iu Pascual and Jaume Llongueras were also involved. GaudÃ abandoned the project in 1914 due to disagreements with the Cathedral chapter.
One of GaudÃ's largest and most striking works is the Casa BatllÃ³ (1904â"1906). Commissioned by Josep BatllÃ³ i Casanovas to renovate an existing building erected in 1875 by Emili Sala CortÃ©s, GaudÃ focused on the facade, the main floor, the patio and the roof, and built a fifth floor for the staff. For this project he was assisted by his aides DomÃ¨nec SugraÃ±es, Joan RubiÃ³ and Josep Canaleta. The facade is of MontjuÃ¯c sandstone cut to create warped ruled surfaces; the columns are bone-shaped with vegetable decoration. GaudÃ kept the rectangular shape of the old building's balconiesâ"with iron railings in the shape of masksâ"giving the rest of the facade an ascending undulating form. He also faced the facade with ceramic fragments of various colours ("trencadÃs"), which GaudÃ obtained from the waste material of the PelegrÃ glass works. The interior courtyard is roofed by a skylight supported by an iron structure in the shape of a double T, which rests on a series of catenary aches. The helicoidal chimneys are a notable feature of the roof, topped with conical caps, covered in clear glass in the centre and ceramics at the top, and surmounted by clear glass balls filled with sand of different colours. The facade culminates in catenary vaults covered with two layers of brick and faced with glazed ceramic tiles in the form of scales (in shades of yellow, green and blue), which resemble a dragon's back; on the left side is a cylindrical turret with anagrams of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and with GaudÃ's four-armed cross.
In 1904, commissioned by the painter LluÃs Graner, he designed the decoration of the Sala MercÃ¨, in the Rambla dels Estudis, one of the first cinemas in Barcelona; the theatre imitated a cave, inspired by the Coves del Drac (Dragon's Caves) in Mallorca. Also for Graner he designed a detached house in the Bonanova district of Barcelona, of which only the foundations and the main gate were built, with three openings: for people, vehicles and birds; the building would have had a structure similar to the Casa BatllÃ³ or the porter's lodge of the Park GÃ¼ell.
The same year he built a workshop, the Taller Badia, for Josep and LluÃs Badia Miarnau, blacksmiths who worked for GaudÃ on several of his works, such as the BatllÃ³ and MilÃ houses, the Park GÃ¼ell and the Sagrada FamÃlia. Located at 278 Carrer NÃ pols, it was a simple stone building. Around that time he also designed hexagonal hydraulic floor tiles for the Casa BatllÃ³, they were eventually used instead for the Casa MilÃ ; they were a green colour and were decorated with seaweed, shells and starfish. These tiles were subsequently chosen to pave Barcelona's Passeig de GrÃ cia.
Also in 1904 he built the Chalet de CatllarÃ s, in La Pobla de Lillet, for the Asland cement factory, owned by Eusebi GÃ¼ell. It has a simple structure though very original, in the shape of a pointed arch, with two semi-circular flights of stairs leading to the top two floors. This building fell into ruin when the cement works closed, and when it was eventually restored its appearance was radically altered, the ingenious original staircase being replaced with a simpler metal one. In the same area he created the Can Artigas Gardens between 1905 and 1907, in an area called Font de la Magnesia, commissioned by the textile merchant Joan Artigas i Alart; men who had worked the Park GÃ¼ell were also involved on this project, similar to the famous park in Barcelona.
In 1906 he designed a bridge over the Torrent de Pomeret, between SarriÃ and Sant Gervasi. This river flowed directly between two of GaudÃ's works, Bellesguard and the Chalet Graner, and so he was asked to bridge the divide. GaudÃ designed an interesting structure composed of juxtaposed triangles that would support the bridge's framework, following the style of the viaducts that he made for the Park GÃ¼ell. It would have been built with cement, and would have had a length of 154 metres (505Â ft) and a height of 15 metres (49Â ft); the balustrade would have been covered with glazed tiles, with an inscription dedicated to Santa EulÃ lia. The project was not approved by the Town Council of SarriÃ .
The same year GaudÃ apparently took part in the construction of the Torre DamiÃ Mateu, in Llinars del VallÃ¨s, in collaboration with his disciple Francesc Berenguer, though the project's authorship is not clear or to what extent they each contributed to it. The style of the building evokes GaudÃ's early work, such as the Casa Vicens or the GÃ¼ell Pavilions; it had an entrance gate in the shape of a fishing net, currently installed in the Park GÃ¼ell. The building was demolished in 1939. Also in 1906 he designed a new banner, this time for the Guild of metalworkers and blacksmiths for the Corpus Christi procession of 1910, in Barcelona Cathedral. It was dark green in colour, with Barcelona's coat of arms in the upper left corner, and an image of Saint Eligius, patron of the guild, with typical tools of the trade. The banner was burned in July 1936.
Another of GaudÃ's major projects and one of his most admired works is the Casa MilÃ , better known as La Pedrera (1906â"1910), commissioned by Pere MilÃ i Camps. GaudÃ designed the house around two large, curved courtyards, with a structure of stone, brick and cast-iron columns and steel beams. The facade is built of limestone from Vilafranca del PenedÃ¨s, apart from the upper level, which is covered in white tiles, evoking a snowy mountain. It has a total of five floors, plus a loft made entirely of catenary arches, as well as two large interior courtyards, one circular and one oval. Notable features are the staircases to the roof, topped with the four-armed cross, and the chimneys, covered in ceramics and with shapes that suggest mediaeval helmets. The interior decoration was carried out by Josep Maria Jujol and the painters Iu Pascual, Xavier NoguÃ©s and Aleix ClapÃ©s. The facade was to have been completed with a stone, metal and glass sculpture with Our lady of the Rosary accompanied by the archangels Michael and Gabriel, 4m in height. A sketch was made by the sculptor Carles Mani, but due to the events of the Tragic Week in 1909 the project was abandoned.
In 1907, to mark the seventh centenary of the birth of King James I, GaudÃ designed a monument in his memory. It would have been situated in the PlaÃ§a del Rei, and would have also meant the renovation of the adjacent buildings: new roof for the cathedral, as well as the completion of its towers and cupola; placement of three vases above the buttresses of the Chapel of Santa Ãgada, dedicated to the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as well as the figure of an angel on top of the chapel's tower; finally, the opening of a large square next to the walls (now the PlaÃ§a Ramon Berenguer el Grand). The project was not executed because the city council disliked it.
In 1908 GaudÃ devised a project for a skyscraper hotel in New York, the Hotel Attraction, commissioned by two American entrepreneurs whose names are unknown. It would have been 360 metres (1,180Â ft) high (taller than the Empire State Building), with a taller parabolic central section, topped with a star, and flanked by four volumes containing museums, art galleries and concert halls, with shapes similar to the Casa MilÃ . Inside it would have had five large rooms, one dedicated to every continent.
The final project for his great patron Eusebi GÃ¼ell was the church for the ColÃ²nia GÃ¼ell, an industrial village in Santa Coloma de CervellÃ³, of which only the crypt was constructed (known today as Crypt of the ColÃ²nia GÃ¼ell) (1908â"1918). The project began in 1890, and the factory, service buildings and housing for the workers were constructed. What would have been the colony's church was designed by GaudÃ in 1898, though the first stone was not laid until 4 October 1908. Unfortunately only the crypt was built, as GÃ¼ell's sons abandoned the project after his death in 1918. GaudÃ designed an oval church with five aisles, one central aisle and two at either side. He conceived it as fully integrated into nature. A porch of hyperbolic paraboloid vaults precedes the crypt, the first time that GaudÃ used this structure and notably the first use of paraboloid vaults in the history of architecture. In the crypt the large hyperboloid stained glass windows stand out, with the shapes of flower petals and butterfly wings. Inside, circular brick pillars alternate with slanted basalt columns from Castellfollit de la Roca.
During the last years of his career, dedicated almost exclusively to la Sagrada FamÃlia, GaudÃ reached the culmination of this naturalistic style, creating a synthesis of all of the solutions and styles he had tried until then. GaudÃ achieved perfect harmony between structural and ornamental elements, between plastic and aesthetic, between function and form, between container and content, achieving the integration of all arts in one structured, logical work.
The first example of his final stage can be seen in a simple but very ingenious building, the Sagrada FamÃlia schools, a small school for the workers' children. Built in 1909, it has a rectangular ground plan of 10 by 20 metres (33Â ft ÃÂ 66Â ft), and contained three classrooms, a vestibule and a chapel. It was built of exposed brick, in three overlapping layers, following the traditional Catalan method. The walls and roof have an undulating shape, giving the structure a sense of lightness but also strength. The Sagrada FamÃlia schools have set an example of constructive genius and have served as a source of inspiration for many architects, such is their simplicity, strength, originality, functionality and geometric excellence.
In May 1910 GaudÃ paid a short visit to Vic, where he was tasked to design the lampposts for the city's PlaÃ§a Major, in commemoration of the first centenary of the birth of Jaume Balmes. They were obelisk-shaped lamps, with basalt rock bases from Castellfollit de la Roca and wrought iron arms, topped with the four-armed cross; they were decorated with vegetable themes and included the birth and death dates of Balmes. They were demolished in 1924 due to poor maintenance.
The same year, on the occasion of Eusebi GÃ¼ell's obtaining the title of count, GaudÃ designed a coat of arms for his patron. He devised a shield with the lower part in a catenary shape typical of GaudÃ. He divided it into two parts: the lantern of Palau GÃ¼ell features a dove and a gear-wheel on the right in allusion to the ColÃ²nia GÃ¼ell in Santa Coloma de CervellÃ³ (coloma is Catalan for dove), with the phrase ahir pastor (yesterday Shepherd). On the left is an owl perched on a half-moonâ"symbol of prudence and wisdomâ"with the words avuy senyor (today Lord). The shield is surmounted by a helmet with the count's coronet and the dove symbol of the Holy Spirit.
In 1912 he built two pulpits for the church of Santa Maria in Blanes: the pulpit on the Gospel side had a hexagonal base, decorated with the dove of the Holy Spirit and the names in Latin of the four evangelists and the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit; the pulpit of the Epistle side had the names of the apostles who wrote epistles (Saint Peter, Saint Paul, Saint John the Evangelist, Saint Judas Thadeus and Saint James the Great), with the three theological virtues and the flames of Pentecost. These pulpits were burned in July 1936.
From 1915 GaudÃ devoted himself almost exclusively to his magnum opus, the Sagrada FamÃlia, a synthesis of his architectural evolution. After completion of the crypt and the apse, still in Gothic style, the rest of the church is conceived in an organic style, imitating natural shapes with their abundance of ruled surfaces. He intended the interior to resemble a forest, with inclined columns like branching trees, helicoidal in form, creating a simple but sturdy structure. GaudÃ applied all of his previous experimental findings in this project, from works such as the Park GÃ¼ell and the crypt of the ColÃ²nia GÃ¼ell, creating a church that is at once structurally perfect, harmonious and aesthetically satisfying.
The Sagrada FamÃlia has a cruciform plan, with a five-aisled nave, a transept of three aisles, and an apse with seven chapels. It has three facades dedicated to the birth, passion and glory of Jesus, and when completed it will have eighteen towers: four at each side making a total of twelve for the apostles, four on the transept invoking the evangelists and one on the apse dedicated to the Virgin, plus the central tower in honour of Jesus, which will reach 170 metres (560Â ft) in height. The church will have two sacristies adjacent to the apse, and three large chapels: one for the Assumption in the apse, and the Baptism and Penitence chapels at the west end; also, it will be surrounded by a cloister designed for processions and to isolate the building from the exterior. GaudÃ used highly symbolic content in the Sagrada FamÃlia, both in architecture and sculpture, dedicating each part of the church to a religious theme.
During GaudÃ's life only the crypt, apse and part of the Nativity facade were completed. Upon his death his assistant DomÃ¨nec SugraÃ±es took over the construction; thereafter it was directed by various architects. Jordi Bonet i Armengol assumed responsibility in 1987 and continued as of 2011. Artists such as LlorenÃ§ and Joan Matamala, Carles Mani, Jaume Busquets, Joaquim Ros i Bofarull, Etsuro Sotoo and Josep Maria Subirachs (creator of the Passion facade) have worked on the sculptural decoration. Completion is not expected until at least 2027.
Minor, late projects
During the last years of his life, apart from his devotion to the Sagrada FamÃlia, GaudÃ participated only in minor projects which were not completed: in 1916, on the death of his friend bishop Josep Torras i Bages, he designed a monument in his honour, which he wanted to place in front of the Passion facade of the Sagrada FamÃlia. He made a sketch of the project, which ultimately was not carried out, and made a plaster bust of the bishop, the work of Joan Matamala under the instruction of GaudÃ. It was put in the Sagrada FamÃlia, where it would have formed part of the church, but it was destroyed in 1936. Another commemorative monument project, also not carried out, was dedicated to Enric Prat de la Riba, which would have been situated in CastellterÃ§ol, birthplace of this Catalan politician. The project dates from 1918, and would have consisted of a tall tower with two porticos and a spire topped with an iron structure flying the Catalan flag. The sketch of the project was done by LluÃs Bonet i GarÃ, GaudÃ's assistant.
In 1922 GaudÃ was commissioned, by the Franciscan Padre AngÃ©lico Aranda, to construct a church dedicated to the Assumption in the Chilean city of Rancagua. GaudÃ apologised and said that he was occupied exclusively with the Sagrada FamÃlia, but sent some sketches of the Assumption chapel which he had designed for the apse of the Sagrada FamÃlia, which more or less coincided with what Padre Aranda had asked for. Unfortunately this project was not carried out, though there are currently plans by the Chilean architect Christian Matzner to take up the project. The President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, has announced that building will begin in 2015, with an expected completion in 2017 and at a cost of $7 million. Once completed it will become the first of GaudÃ's works to be constructed in the Americas.
The same year GaudÃ was consulted about the construction of a monumental train station for Barcelona (the future EstaciÃ³ de FranÃ§a). GaudÃ suggested an iron structure in the form of a large suspended awning, a solution quite ahead of its time; perhaps for this reason, it put the head engineers off, and they declined GaudÃ's offer. The last known projects by the architect are the chapel for the ColÃ³nia Calvet in TorellÃ³, of 1923, and a pulpit for Valencia (the exact location is unknown), of 1924. From then on, GaudÃ worked exclusively on the Sagrada FamÃlia, until the fateful day of the accident which caused his death.
The enormous task which GaudÃ faced, not in terms of the number of works, but in terms of their complexity, required the collaboration of a large number of assistants, artists, architects and craftsmen. GaudÃ always led the way, but allowed expression of the individual abilities of all of his collaborators. A test of his expertise both in his field and in interpersonal communication was demonstrated in bringing together a large number of diverse professionals and creating an integrated team. Among his collaborators were:
- Architects: Francesc Berenguer, Josep Maria Jujol, CristÃ²for Cascante i Colom, Josep Francesc RÃ fols, CÃ¨sar Martinell, Joan BergÃ³s, Francesc Folguera, Josep Canaleta, Joan RubiÃ³, DomÃ¨nec SugraÃ±es, Francesc Quintana, Isidre Puig i Boada, LluÃs Bonet i GarÃ.
- Sculptors: Carles Mani, Joan Flotats, LlorenÃ§ Matamala, Joan Matamala, Josep Llimona.
- Painters: Ricard Opisso, Aleix ClapÃ©s, Iu Pascual, Xavier NoguÃ©s, Jaume Llongueras, JoaquÃn Torres GarcÃa.
- Builders and foremen: AgustÃ Massip, Josep BayÃ³ i Font, Claudi Alsina i Bonafont, Josep Pardo i Casanova and his nephew JuliÃ Bardier i Pardo.
- Craftsmen: Eudald PuntÃ (carpenter and forger), Joan OÃ±Ã³s (forger), LluÃs y Josep Badia i Miarnau (forger), Joan Bertran (plasterer), Joan MunnÃ© (cabinet maker), Frederic LabÃ²ria (cabinet maker), Antoni Rigalt i Blanch (glazier), Josep PelegrÃ (glazier), Mario Maragliano (mosaic artist), Jaume Pujol i Bausis and his son Pau Pujol i VilÃ (ceramicists).
After his death, GaudÃ's works suffered a period of neglect and were largely unpopular among international critics, who regarded them as baroque and excessively imaginative. In his homeland he was equally disdained by Noucentisme, the new movement which took the place of Modernisme. In 1936, during the Spanish Civil War, GaudÃ's workshop in the Sagrada FamÃlia was ransacked and a great number of his documents, plans and scale models were destroyed.
GaudÃ's reputation was beginning to recover by the 1950s, when his work was championed not only by Salvador DalÃ but also by architect Josep LluÃs Sert. In 1952, the centenary year of the architect's birth, the AsociaciÃ³n de Amigos de GaudÃ (Friends of GaudÃ Association) was founded with the aim of disseminating and conserving his legacy. Four years later, a retrospective was organised at the SalÃ³ del Tinell in Barcelona, and the GaudÃ Chair at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia was created with the purpose of deepening the study of the GaudÃ's works and participating in their conservation. These events were followed in 1957 by GaudÃ's first international exhibition, held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In 1976, on the 50th anniversary of his death, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised an exhibition about GaudÃ and his works that toured the globe.
Between 1950 and 1960, research and writings by international critics like George R. Collins, Nikolaus Pevsner and Roberto Pane spread a renewed awareness of GaudÃ's work, while in his homeland it was admired and promoted by Alexandre Cirici, Juan Eduardo Cirlot and Oriol Bohigas. GaudÃ's work has since gained widespread international appreciation, such as in Japan where notable studies have been published by Kenji Imai and Tokutoshi Torii. International recognition of GaudÃ's contributions to the field of architecture and design culminated in the 1984 listing of GaudÃ's key works as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. GaudÃ's style have subsequently influenced contemporary architects such as Santiago Calatrava and Norman Foster.
Due to GaudÃ's profoundly religious and ascetic lifestyle, the archbishop of Barcelona, Ricard Maria Carles proposed GaudÃ's beatification in 1998. His beatification was approved by the Vatican in 2000. In 1999, American composer Christopher Rouse wrote the guitar concerto Concert de GaudÃ, which was inspired by GaudÃ's work; it went on to win the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition. On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of GaudÃ's birth, a number of official ceremonies, concerts, shows and conferences were held, and several books were published. On 24 September of the same year, the musical GaudÃ had its premiere in the Palau dels Esports de Barcelona. The authors of the piece were Jordi Galceran, Esteve Miralles and Albert Guinovart. In 2008 the GaudÃ Awards were launched in his honour, organised by the Catalan Film Academy to award the best Catalan films of the year. An Iberia Airbus A340-642, EC-INO is named after GaudÃ.
Several of GaudÃ's works have been granted World Heritage status by UNESCO: in 1984 the Park GÃ¼ell, the Palau GÃ¼ell and the Casa MilÃ ; and in 2005 the Nativity facade, the crypt and the apse of the Sagrada FamÃlia, the Casa Vicens and the Casa BatllÃ³ in Barcelona, together with the crypt of the ColÃ²nia GÃ¼ell in Santa Coloma de CervellÃ³.
The declaration of GaudÃ's works as World Heritage aims to recognise his outstanding universal value. According to the citation:
*The work of Antoni GaudÃ represents an exceptional and outstanding creative contribution to the development of architecture and building technology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
- GaudÃ's work exhibits an important interchange of values closely associated with the cultural and artistic currents of his time, as represented in el Modernisme [sic] of Catalonia. It anticipated and influenced many of the forms and techniques that were relevant to the development of modern construction in the 20th century.
- GaudÃ's work represents a series of outstanding examples of the building typology in the architecture of the early 20th century, residential as well as public, to the development of which he made a significant and creative contribution.
List of GaudÃ buildings
- GaudÃ's life and works (English), (French), (Spanish), (Italian), (Catalan)
- Overview of GaudÃ's major works (English), (French), (Spanish)
- Sagrada FamÃlia information and discussion of lesser-known GaudÃ works
- Sagrada FamÃlia image gallery
- Casa BatllÃ³ information and image gallery
- Analysis of fractals and other mathematical elements in GaudÃ's architectural style
- PÃ gina del Cercle ArtÃstic de Sant Lluc
- Antoni PlÃ cid Guillem GaudÃ i Cornet
- A virtual walk through the Guard House at Park Guell