Antoni Gaudí was Perhaps one of the greatest Art Thinkers of all time.
His work is admired by hundreds of thousands of people every year and architects around the world agree that he has one of the most unique and distinctive architectural styles.
His impact on the city of Barcelona is immense and you can discover stunning examples of his work all around the city.
Antoni Gaudí was born on June 25 1852 in Reus in 1852 and received his Architectural degree in 1878.
He was often sick as a child and spent many days at the family’s house in Riudoms. It gave him the chance to explore nature which he considered his ultimate teacher and mistress. He integrated the shapes and forms of nature in his work. And it’s easy to recognize that patterns of nature in everything he created.
Gaudi once said, ‘originality consists of going back to the origins.’ And he managed to see originality all around him.
From the start, his designs were radically different from those of his contemporaries. He was more fascinated by the forms of nature than the established architectural styles of his time.
When he graduated with his architectural degree the director, Elies Rogent said, ‘I do not know if we have awarded this degree to a madman or to a genius, only time will tell.’
Much of Gaudi’s work has an organic look, inspired by the shapes he found in the natural world.
Because nature was his muse, he had to create new architectural methods to enable his vision. And many of the techniques he used were groundbreaking at the time.
Some of the technologies necessary to complete his work in the Sagrada Familia hadn’t even been invented yet. Architects are still working on completing the great cathedral.
But it wasn’t only his architectural methods that were so extraordinary.
He assembled a dedicated team and led them in a way that empowered them to help turn his ideas into reality. He developed deep and long-lasting relationships craftsmen that worked with him.
Gaudi was also a social reformer and created one of the first social systems in the town of Santa Coloma de Cervello (Barcelona).
Gaudí’s great patron, Eusebi Güell, had a factory in the area and wanted a place away from the city and the political instability of the time. Together they developed Colonia Güell. The village, designed by Gaudi, included workers’ houses as well as what is known today as Cripta de la Colonia Güell.
But this village was more than simply houses for workers. It was a community that offered education, a social security system, common areas for gardening and recreation and more. In short, a modern social society. People applied to work there and went through a process to ensure that they could integrate into the community vision.
The methods that Gaudi used to create the chapel were the testing ground for his masterpiece – The Sagrade Familia. Although it wasn’t completed in his lifetime, it continues to be seen as an architectural marvel and an inspiration to many.
Gaudi died on the 10th of June 1926 in an accident. He was on an evening walk to the Sagrada Familia and was hit by a tram. He was dressed as a workman and no one recognized the old man without any papers as the great architect, so he was taken to a hospital for the poor. By the time they noticed he was missing it was too late.
His funeral was held in the Sagrada Familia and he is buried in the church.
Gaudi’s creativity is reflected in his work and the city of Barcelona.
When you turn a corner and see natural curved construction stones, twisted iron sculptures, and organic shapes and mosaics you can feel his presence.
Gaudi wasn’t simply an architect, but an artist, inspired by nature and God to realize his dreams.