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Sagrada Família, Gaudi, Barcelona
Image by F.d.W.
Sagrada Família, Gaudi, Barcelona
This is a ‘composite’ of 100 pictures 🙂
The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (English: Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family; Spanish: Basílica y Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia), commonly known as the Sagrada Família (Catalan pronunciation: [səˈɣɾaðə fəˈmiɫiə]), is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926). Although incomplete, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in November 2010 Pope Benedict XVI consecrated and proclaimed it a minor basilica, as distinct from a cathedral which must be the seat of a bishop.
Though construction of Sagrada Família had commenced in 1882, Gaudí became involved in 1883, taking over the project and transforming it with his architectural and engineering China style—combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. Gaudí devoted his last years to the project, and at the time of his death at age 73 in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was complete. Sagrada Família’s construction progressed slowly, as it relied on private donations and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War—only to resume intermittent progress in the 1950s. Construction passed the midpoint in 2010 with some of the project’s greatest challenges remaining and an anticipated completion date of 2026—the centennial of Gaudí’s death.
The basílica has a long history of dividing the citizens of Barcelona—over the initial possibility it might compete with Barcelona’s cathedral, over Gaudí’s design itself, over the possibility that work after Gaudí’s death disregarded his design, and the recent possibility that an underground tunnel of Spain’s high-speed rail link to France could disturb its stability.
Describing Sagrada Família, art critic Rainer Zerbst said "it is probably impossible to find a church building anything like it in the entire history of art" and Paul Goldberger called it "the most extraordinary personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages."
The Basilica of the Sagrada Família was the inspiration of a Catalan bookseller, Josep Maria Bocabella, founder of Asociación Espiritual de Devotos de San José (Spiritual Association of Devotees of St. Joseph). After a visit to the Vatican in 1872, Bocabella returned from Italy with the intention of building a church inspired by that at Loreto. The crypt of the church, funded by donations, was begun 19 March 1882, on the festival of St. Joseph, to the design of the architect Francisco de Paula del Villar, whose plan was for a Gothic revival church of a standard form. Antoni Gaudí began work on the project in 1883. On 18 March 1883 Villar retired from the project, and Gaudí assumed responsibility for its design, which he changed radically.
Newly constructed stonework at the Sagrada Família is clearly visible against the stained and weathered older sections.
On the subject of the extremely long construction period, Gaudí is said to have remarked: "My client is not in a hurry." When Gaudí died in 1926, the basilica was between 15 and 25 percent complete. After Gaudí’s death, work continued under the direction of Domènec Sugrañes i Gras until interrupted by the Spanish Civil War in 1936. Parts of the unfinished basilica and Gaudí’s models and workshop were destroyed during the war by Catalan anarchists. The present design is based on reconstructed versions of the plans that were burned in a fire as well as on modern adaptations. Since 1940 the architects Francesc Quintana, Isidre Puig Boada, Lluís Bonet i Gari and Francesc Cardoner have carried on the work. The illumination was designed by Carles Buigas. The current director and son of Lluís Bonet, Jordi Bonet i Armengol, has been introducing computers into the design and construction process since the 1980s. Mark Burry of New Zealand serves as Executive Architect and Researcher. Sculptures by J. Busquets, Etsuro Sotoo and the controversial Josep Subirachs decorate the fantastical façades.
The central nave vaulting was completed in 2000 and the main tasks since then have been the construction of the transept vaults and apse. As of 2006, work concentrated on the crossing and supporting structure for the main tower of Jesus Christ as well as the southern enclosure of the central nave, which will become the Glory façade.
Construction status[edit source]
Sagrada Família’s roof under construction (2009)
One projection anticipates construction completion around 2026, the centennial of Gaudí’s death—while the project’s information leaflet estimates a completion date in 2028, accelerated by additional funding from visitors to Barcelona following the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Computer-aided design technology has been used to accelerate construction of the building, which had previously been expected to last for several hundred years, based on building techniques available in the early 20th century. Current technology allows stone to be shaped off-site by a CNC milling China machine, whereas in the 20th century, the stone was carved by hand.
In 2008, some renowned Catalan architects advocated a halt to construction, to respect Gaudí’s original designs, which, although they were not exhaustive and were partially destroyed, have been partially reconstructed in recent years.
A 2010 exhibition, Gaudí Unseen, Completing La Sagrada Família at the German Architecture Museum, Frankfurt am Main, describes the current construction methods and future plans for the Sagrada Família.
AVE tunnel[edit source]
On 26 March 2010, the Ministry of Public Works of Spain (Ministerio de Fomento) began constructing an AVE (high-speed train) tunnel beneath the centre of Barcelona, saying the project poses no risk to the church. Project engineers and architects disagreed, saying there was no guarantee that the tunnel would not affect the stability of the building. The Board of the Sagrada Família (Patronat de la Sagrada Família) and the neighborhood association AVE pel Litoral (AVE by the Coast) had led a campaign against this route of the Tunnel Sants – La Sagrera for the AVE, without success.
In October 2010, the tunnel boring machine reached the church underground under the location of the building’s principal façade. A few months later, the tunneling machine reached its endpoint. No damage to the Sagrada Família has been reported to date.
Trains were scheduled to start running in December 2012, when the installation of railway tracks, overhead wires and signalling is completed. ADIF intends to embed the rails into an elastic material to dampen vibrations, according to the system Edilon.