Antoni Gaudi: Know Why the World Knows Him As God’s Architect
By Arijit Banerjee
There are several magnificent buildings and architectural marvels in the world. Their grandeur and grace simply rob us of speech. While many plunge into their appeal, there are those who wonder about the people behind all the hard work.
Architects are the true masters of their craft. Be it historical monuments or iconic buildings, their marvellous architectural creations surround us. There are many architects who have paved the way for inspiring design, cutting-edge innovations and have become inventors of the world we see around us.
Talking of incredible design and inspiring innovations, no one can skip the name of Antoni Gaudi. Born in the year 1852, Antoni Gaudí I Cornet was a Spanish architect who was well-known for his individualized and distinctive style of work.
What Set Him Apart?
Gaudi was particular about the details of his creations. He used to integrate four major crafts into his architecture:
- Stained Glass
- Wrought Ironwork Forging
Furthermore, today, Gaudí's work enjoys global admiration. Interestingly, between 1984 and 2005, seven of his works were declared as the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Gaudi is considered the great master of Catalan Modernism - historiographical denomination was given to an art and literature movement with its main form of expression in architecture. However, his work is not limited to just one style or classification.
The main inspirations behind many of the Gaudi's creations have been the mountain of Montserrat, the caves of Mallorca, the saltpetre caves in Collbató, the crag of Fra Guerau in the Prades Mountains behind Reus, the Pareis mountain in the north of Mallorca and Sant Miquel del Fai in Bigues i Riells. In addition to Mother Nature, geometric forms inspired him to a great extent.
Sagrada Familia: The Building That Labelled Gaudi as God’s Architect
Antoni built several elegant structures in his career. However, Sagrada Familia or Gaudi’s Barcelona Church is one such creation of Antoni that branded him as “God’s Architect.”
After he finished the Parc Güell in 1911, Antoni vowed to stop working on secular projects and devoted himself solely to the Sagrada Família. Furthermore, the project was all about sky-high towers and brims with dense symbolism throughout the building.
As per Sacred Architecture, “Gaudi, however, wanted to create a “20th century cathedral,” a synthesis of all his architectural knowledge with a visual explication of the mysteries of faith. Consequently, he designed façades representing the Nativity, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of Christ; and eighteen towers, symbolizing the twelve Apostles, the four Evangelists, the Virgin Mary and Christ. Furthermore, on completion, the church will stand approximately 500 feet high.
The Man who Left Behind Brilliance
“My client can wait,” Gaudi used to tell his helpers whenever there were delays due to amendments to his original plans. By client, he referred to God who he felt was never in a hurry. Hence, Gaudi directed the construction of Sagrada Familia from 1883 to 1926. He devoted the last 14 years of his life to this most important project.
On June 7, 1926, Gaudi met with an accident and died three days later. His death was considered a Catalan national disaster. Furthermore, all of Barcelona was a part of his funeral procession.
“Architecture is a visual art and the buildings speak for themselves.” However, in this case, the buildings speak for their maker, Antoni Gaudi – who the world believes is the architect of God. Hence, the brilliance he left behind is really amazing.
About the Author:
Dr. Yogesh Bhat
Head and Director
Manipal Global Academy of Information Technology (MGAIT)
Dr. Yogesh is a Graduate from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee; Post-Graduate from CEPT University, Ahmedabad; and Fellow (Doctorate) from Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad.
Dr. Yogesh Kumar Bhatt is the Vice-President – IT Education and Training at Manipal Global Education (MaGE). He heads Manipal Academy of Information Technology (MGAIT), and looks after entire academic development and delivery of programs for Information Technology vertical. Furthermore, he has around two decades of experience involving employee competency development, education, training, delivery and consulting in Information Technology sector.
Prior to joining MaGE, he has worked for 16 years with Infosys, spending this time across various functions and roles. His last role at Infosys was as the Associate Vice President and Head.