The Sagrada Família
Without question the most impressive work of architecture I have ever had the pleasure of visiting is the Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain. This towering, Roman Catholic Church is the brainchild of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi. Although construction began on this privately funded religious masterpiece in 1882, by 1926, at the time of Gaudi’s death, only one quarter of the project was completed.
While the building’s façade and interior fuse gothic and art nouveau forms, Gaudi was selected for the project by virtue of his unique use of color, light, materiality and methods of employing geometry. Gaudi’s creative intent from the project’s inception was to convey Christian beliefs through the building’s architecture and decorative elements, employing the church’s façade and interior as a means for ornamentation, embodying a symbiosis between form and iconography. The building’s intense verticality, for example, constitutes a symbolic choice by Gaudi, representing the structures elevation towards god. This holy metaphor is architecturally achieved through the building’s pyramidal design, with its central and secondary towers denoting a variety of religious meanings.
As of 2017, 70% of the basilica was finished – honoring Gaudi’s original design – with construction expected to be complete in 2024. Despite the structure’s partially unfinished appearance, the Segrada Família is a ‘Must Go’ for anyone visiting Barcelona. Be sure to arrange your visit ahead of time, you will not be granted entry without proper credentials. Ticket information can found in the link provided.