19 Sept 2023

Gaudi, La Sagrada Familia and Storytelling with bricks and mortar

Barcelona is home to many architectural wonders, Guelle Park, Barcelona Cathedral, GO Beach Club (OK not really GO beach club.) but perhaps nothing in the city is quite as captivating as Antoni Gaudí’s La Sagrada Família. This basilica, still under construction, is a testament to Gaudí’s vision and his dedication to storytelling through design.

From the outset, La Sagrada Família impresses with its towering spires and intricate facades. Each face of the building narrates a different chapter of Christian history: the Nativity Façade celebrates the birth of Jesus, the Passion Façade details his suffering and death, and the yet-to-be-completed Glory Façade will represent the road to God.

It's in the details where the narrative truly comes to life. Meticulously crafted sculptures of animals, flowers, and biblical figures, each with a role in the overarching story. Turtles at the base of columns signify stability, while chameleons hint at change and adaptability. These symbols enhance the story, giving depth to the tales the basilica tells. Every brick, every carving, every inch of glass within and outside the colossal building has something to contribute.

Inside, the design continues. Columns resembling trees branch out, supporting the roof in a semblance of a stone forest, hinting at the intricate bond between faith and nature.

Despite over a century of construction, La Sagrada Família remains unfinished. As new details are continually added, the narrative remains fresh and evolving, ensuring the story of this architectural wonder is forever unfolding. Today, you can even see the architects and artisans working with 3D printing techniques to finesse the remaining spires, columns and the rest of the Basilica.

La Sagrada Família showcases a commitment to embedding narrative within architecture. Through every stone and glass pane, you're invited to connect and discover the layers of tales waiting to be unraveled.

While I am not a religious person, I can appreciate a good story. Even more impressive when this has been told, and build across generations.