Multilectual Daily Online Magazine focusing on Architecture, Travel, History, Interior Design, Vintage and Contemporary Fiction, Craft Beer, Coffee, Bungalow Living, San Diego's Historic North Park and Balboa Park by award-winning journalist Tom Shess
Thursday, November 15, 2012
WORLD ARCHITECTURE / Barcelona
Cathedral of the Sacred Family, Barcelona, Spain. Image by Lew Dominy
Editor’s Note: The following
guest blog is from long time, top caliber, West Coast architect Lew
Dominy. A few months ago, I ran into Lew
and he said he was contemplating retirement—maybe. Now seeing via his blog that he’s in
Barcelona—maybe he made good on his retirement.
Estimated completion date 2026
FANTASTIC VOYAGE--I have just returned from a fantastic voyage that returned me to some
locations I had last visited 42 years ago. Gaudi’s Cathedral of the Sacred
Family in Barcelona, Spain, was such a wonderful surprise. When I was there long ago, the interior was
only sixty years along in its construction, and you could not go inside because
it was all full of scaffolding. Now,
after more than a hundred years, there are still multiple cranes on the outside
where construction continues, but the inside, at least, is completed and was
dedicated/consecrated last year by the Pope.
This building alone was worth the trip.
It reinforces the concept we strive for of timelessness in our
designs. Conceived 100 years ago, it
will always be an awesome and inspiring space.
We never stop learning.
hope you enjoy a few photos and some day can visit this wild and organic
interpretation of the classic Gothic Cathedral. I was blown away.
To see Lew’s photography of Gaudi’s
unfinished symphony go to his blog:
From 1915 Gaudí devoted
himself almost exclusively to his magnum opus, the Sagrada Família, a synthesis
of his architectural evolution. After completion of the crypt and the apse,
still in Gothic style, the rest of the church is conceived in an organic style,
imitating natural shapes with their abundance of ruled surfaces. He intended
the interior to resemble a forest, with inclined columns like branching trees,
helicoidal in form, creating a simple but sturdy structure. Gaudí applied all
of his previous experimental findings in this project, from works such as the
Park Güell and the crypt of the Colònia Güell, creating a church that is at
once structurally perfect, harmonious and aesthetically satisfying.
The Sagrada Família has a
cruciform plan, with a five-aisled nave, a transept of three aisles, and an
apse with seven chapels. It has three facades dedicated to the birth, passion
and glory of Jesus, and when completed it will have 18 towers: four at each
side making a total of 12 for the apostles, four on the transept invoking the
evangelists and one on the apse dedicated to the Virgin, plus the central tower
in honor of Jesus, which will reach 170 metres (560 ft) in height. The church
will have two sacristies adjacent to the apse, and three large chapels: one for
Assumption in the apse, and
the Baptism and Penitence chapels at the west end; also, it will be surrounded
by a cloister designed for processions and to isolate the building from the
exterior. Gaudí used highly symbolic content in the Sagrada Família, both in
architecture and sculpture, dedicating each part of the church to a religious
During Gaudí’s life only
the crypt, apse and part of the Nativity facade were completed. Upon his death
his assistant Domènec Sugrañes took over the construction; thereafter it was
directed by various architects. Jordi Bonet i Armengol assumed responsibility
in 1987 and continued as of 2011. Artists such as Llorenç and Joan Matamala,
Carles Mani, Jaume Busquets, Joaquim Ros i Bofarull, Etsuro Sotoo and Josep
Maria Subirachs (creator of the Passion facade) have worked on the sculptural
decoration. Completion is not expected until at least 2026 (the 100th
anniversary of Gaudi’s death). –Wikipedia.
Interior Image: Lew Dominy, Domusstudio.com, San Diego, CA