Antoni Gaudi is a famous Catalan architect who lived between 1852-1926. Gaudi is one of the most important exponents of Modernism and Art Nouveau movements. Even though, these movements influenced Gaudi’s architectural style, his style is beyond them. It is possible to observe the inspiration that comes from his religious beliefs and nature in his works. Because of that he is known as God’s Architect. Also, Gaudi believed that the real source of art is nature and one day all architects will mimic nature in their works.
Works of Antoni Gaudi
Most of the works of Gaudi are located in Barcelona. In the early years of his career Neo-Gothic and Orientalist influence was dominant. Later, he created his own naturalist style by combining Modernism and Art Nouveau. He used modern engineering techniques to create organic forms in his designs. Park Güell, Casa Batllo, Casa Mila and La Sagrada Familia are Gaudi’s most famous works in this naturalist era.
Antoni Gaudi’s Land of Fairy Tales: Park Güell
Park Güell is a famous park that opened to the public in 1922. Eusebi Güell commissioned Gaudi for the project. At first, this project was planned as a housing site but only the two houses were finished. Later, the project was converted to a municipal garden. One of the houses that are located in the park belongs to Gaudi. It is designed by Gaudi’s assistant Francesc Berenguer. Today it is used as Gaudi Museum.
The sculptures and mosaics in the park portray various images from Catalan culture and mythology. For example, the mythological sea serpent inspired the form of the long bench on the main terrace. Gaudi’s unique style that combines Art Nouveau and Modernism shows itself everywhere: the entrance buildings, staircases, terrace, three viaducts…
Casa Batllo, also known as The House of Bones, built by Lluís Sala Sánchez in 1877. In 1904, the owner of the building, Josep Batlló hired Gaudi to renovate it to a unique house no one else had.
As Josep Batlló wanted, Casa Batllo is an iconic one-of-the-kind architectural structure. The mosaic-decorated facade, the organic structure that calls it the House of Bones, and the roof resembling a dragon’s back are the parts that make Casa Batllo unique.
A Building Quite Unlike: Antoni Gaudi’s Casa Mila
Casa Mila, also called La Pedrera (Stone Quarry), is the last project Gaudi did before the Sagrada Familia. When it was first built, people described Casa Mila as weird and criticized harshly. Nevertheless, today it is accepted as an outstanding and unique architectural structure.
Building has two main parts: the supporting structure and the exterior shell. The exterior shell has an unconventional wavy form. This flowing form continues at the roof as well. Nothing about Casa Mila is flat or straight. Neither courtyards nor interior walls… Even the furniture of the house has organic forms.
La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia, famous unfinished church of Barcelona, Gaudi’s final work… In the last years of his life Gaudi completely focused on this project. He even moved to the construction site to live there. After Gaudi’s death the church remained incomplete and its construction still in progress after almost 140 years. It is planned to be finished in 2026, Gaudi’s centenary of death. However, the completion date will probably delay due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
In the original plan of The Sagrada Familia there are eighteen towers that reach to the sky and welcome visitors of the city. Eight of them have been built and the construction of the others still continues. In addition, it has three facades that tell different stories about God and Jesus Christ. Also, like Casa Mila, there are no flat surfaces or angles in the design of this church.
Inside of the Sagrada Familia, the columns branche like trees to support the roof. Thanks to this unique structure, the visitors feel like they are walking inside a magical forest. Religion and nature are the main inspiration sources of this church.
Antoni Gaudi: The Genius Architect of Barcelona
In short, it would not be wrong to say that the person who made Barcelona famous is Gaudi. Every year lots of people from all around the world come to Barcelona to see Gaudi’s works. His buildings, the icons of the city, are also in the UNESCO World Heritage List.