Gaudí: An uncommon architect 09.06.17

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The art of Gaudí crossed borders and made him one of the most famous architects in the world. Although he was mainly devoted to architecture, Antoni Gaudí also designed furniture for buildings, as well as a large number of decorative elements. When he was a student, he attended many craft workshops where he learned the basics of sculpture, ceramics, glassmaking, forging and carpentry. All these skills can be seen in his work.

Gaudí’s early works are the lamps he made for the Plaza Real of Barcelona, but the first major architectural project was a labour cooperative building for Mataró, on which he worked from 1878 to 1882 by the order of textile businessman Salvador Pagès i Anglada. Ultimately, only the factory and the services building were completed.

But Gaudí is best known for his naturalistic architecture. The forms visible in buildings such as Casa Batlló, Casa Milà or Park Güell recall nature, mountains, sea waves and animals. Although Gaudí was greatly influenced by modernism, especially its organic forms and vegetation, he developed his own style. For the Casa Batlló, he also made the decoration and furniture. He plastered the walls and ceilings and gave them sinuous organic shapes. He also combined wood and glass for windows and doors. Into the dining room, Gaudí designed all the furniture in detail. On the main floor are the best decorative details. The mushroom chimney, the staircase that looks like the backbone of an animal, and the entire main hall are the pieces that stand out inside the building.

The Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Familia was his masterpiece and the culmination of his style: all his main characteristics came together in this work. His architectural evolution can also be seen in this building. While the crypt and the apse remain in neo-Gothic style, the rest of the temple is more organic and references nature – its interior looks like a forest of sloping columns. This unfinished work is his best known and it attracts hundreds of tourists each year to the city of Barcelona.

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