Episode #1 of the course “Architects who changed the world”
Born in 1852, Antoni Gaudi is one of the most famous Spanish architects in history. His Modern designs changed the life of Barcelona’s streets; after he graduated, he made the city the center of his activity. Proud of his Mediterranean heritage, Gaudi traveled extensively through Spain and France, appreciating the wonders of each country’s landscapes. Antoni Gaudi’s artistic designs were inspired by nature, especially seaside landscapes. He incorporated organic shapes and geometric patterns into his own interpretation of the Gothic architectural style. Known for a number of artistic wonders around Spain, Gaudi has seven buildings designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Sagrada Família, Barcelona, Spain
Detail of the roof in the nave. Gaudí designed the columns to mirror trees and branches.
As one of the first architects of Modernism, Gaudi pushed the boundaries of architecture in two directions at once. While attempting to recapture an elegance and spirituality that he felt had been lost in modern buildings, he incorporated new elements of style into buildings that were not present in classic structures. With the eye and training of an artist, Gaudi was one of the first architects to incorporate interior design into his buildings. He thought about color and light, about the space’s interaction with its interior and exterior objects. He designed ergonomic furniture and extensive gardens and outdoor structures, such as his famous lamp posts around Barcelona.
Guell Park, Barcelona, Spain
Gaudi’s Modernism design elements embody a unique Spanish flair. He combined wrought iron, stained glass, bold colors, organic shapes, and textural elements to achieve effects like no other architect. His most famous buildings include Guell Palace and Park Guell, with their dramatic carved wrought iron archways and tiled mosaic sculptures. The Guell family also commissioned Gaudi to design the church of Colonia Guell, which remains unfinished. Shortly before his death, Gaudi took over design for the Sagrada Familia, a minor basilica in Barcelona. He combined Gothic and Art Nouveau styles in his plans, but Gaudi died before its completion.
Casa Batlló, Barcelona, Spain
Casa Mila, Barcelona, Spain
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