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The Sagrada Familia Essay

2019 words - 8 pages

At first sight the Sagrada Família is awe inspiring and breath taking and with this has become recognized as the universal symbol for Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain's capital city, and is unmistakably one of the most magnificent structures ever erected in this region. Spain is embedded with cultural tradition and it is believed its rich history is traced back somewhere within four hundred years of when Rome was established. Thus, setting forth the foundation and importance of history and the conviction of this culture to wrap their hearts around the place that has become what Barcelona is recognized for. The Sagrada Família's design was perfected by Antoni Gaudi, an architect, who was innovative and forward thinking in his creations and who meticulously embedded not only religious iconography, but also merged secular symbols throughout the interior and exterior façade of this massive structure to tell the story of the faith in Jesus Christ.
To understand the uniqueness of the Sagrada Família and the reason it has become noted as a building designed like no other it is important to learn about the background of the architect who led the journey of the monumental task of designing and building the Sagrada Família. Antoni Gaudi, a Spanish architect, was ahead of his time with the innovation of architectural design and space of commercial and residential buildings and was considered a pioneer in his field during the last part of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century as recorded in history. Gaudi was influenced as a student by a Romantic and Symbolist concept of the Middle Ages as a golden age, which for him and for other Spanish artists became a symbol for the rising nationalism of Catalonia (Arnason and Mansfield 99). Most of Gaudi's work is marked by four of his main passions which are architecture, nature, religion and his love for Catalonia. Gaudi studied the natural form as a basis for his architectural detail and further considered this as the spiritual basis of and for his designs. Gaudi wrote: "Nature does not present us with uniformly monotonous objects. Everything keeps its contrast, more or less, stemming from the vitality of the colors"
(Alvarez 10).
The work of Antoni Gaudi falls under the movement of Modernism and therefore is wrapped in the traits of exuberant forms, ornamentation, great attention to detail, vast use of plant motifs, and the preference to curvilinear and asymmetrical line. Along with his attention to great detail Gaudi integrated the use of ceramic tile, stained glass, wrought iron works and master crafted carpentry which ultimately enhanced the unique innovative design concepts in which he became noted for. Gaudi introduced new techniques to the architectural world such as trencadis, which is a type of mosaic made of waste ceramic pieces and which is one of the design details incorporated throughout his work, one example being the spires of the Sagrada Família. Gaudi's work always...

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