By: Crystal Glanz-Kreutz, Designer
During my visit to Barcelona in the winter of 2007 I visited several of Gaudi’s works; The Parque Guell, Casa Mila, and La Sagrada Familia, to name a few. Having long been a fan of Art and Crafts and Art Nouveau, I could see the variation on a theme… Gaudi took Art Nouveau to new levels… The organic curvature, undulating walls and splashes of color were clearly influenced by the Mediterranean, religion and nature. His work is an interesting remix of elements (both in materials and design motifs) that you’ve seen before, but that are put together in a whole new way.
The Sagrada Familia is intimidating. The scale is unlike anything that I had ever seen before or since. The mass is large, a full city block, and it is nestled in and amongst the bustling metro; double decker tour buses, pedestrians headed in every direction, cars, cyclists, you name it… it’s quite the juxtaposition to see such a mammoth church, just around the corner from a coffee shop and modern retail stores. To experience the Sagrada Familia today is certainly quite different than how it would have been when construction began, well over 100 years ago. I had to wonder, if not for the delays, if it had been built and completed to its original schedule, how would it have influenced the growth and design of the city around it? With its gothic and organic influences, perhaps Barcelona would have adopted more of these stylings, in a parallel universe there may be a far more highly stylized Barcelona where the characteristics of Gaudi’s work are seen more throughout the city.