Antoni Gaudí i Cornet was a Catalan architect and designer, whose distinctive style is characterized by freedom of form, voluptuous colour and texture, and organic unity.
About his life
The son of a coppersmith, Antoni Gaudí was born on June 25, 1852, and took to architecture at a young age. He attended school in Barcelona, the city that would become home to most of his great works. Gaudí was part of the Catalan Modernista movement, eventually transcending it with his nature-based organic style. Gaudí died on June 10, 1926, in Barcelona, Spain.
image source: https://www.greenme.it/immagini/parc_guell7.jpg
What are his major works?
The most famous of all Gaudi’s works has been under construction since 1882. The famed architect took over the construction of the Sagrada Familia (Spanish for “Holy Family”) one year later but he didn’t live to see his masterpiece completed. In fact, less than one third of the church was completed by the time of his death.
There are also Casa Mila or La Pedrera (1906-1912), which is one of the best examples of the architect’s creativity, the Park Güell (1900-1914), which was commisioned by Eusebi Guëll and it is one of the most famous and beautiful public parks in the world even though it was never completed, Casa Batllo or House of Bones (1906), an eye catching building in at the time very trendy and prestigious part of Barcelona, the Church of Colonia Güell (1908-1914), which is actually a crypt, the Episcopal Palace of Astorga (1889-1913), which is one of most famous Gaudi’s works outside Catalonia, the Güell Palace, one of his first works and one of his greatest masterpieces in the late 1880s, Casa de los Botines or Casa Fernandez y Andres (1891), a spectacular building in Leon which was commissioned by Simon Fernandez and Mariano Andres, Casa Calvet (1898-1900), with a unique, original and innovative design, Casa Vicens (1883-1889), built as a residential building for the entrepreneur Manuel Vicens.
How can we identify Gaudì’s style?
Guadí’s fantastical style was informed by a number of influences, and was very much a result of the context of late 19th century architecture, when the requirement to follow strict historical styles was beginning to fall out of favor. As such, Gaudí was able to take inspiration from Oriental styles, and was heavily influenced by the Revival Gothic architecture of the time, most notably encapsulated in the work of French architect Viollet-le-Duc. However, he believed that Gothic architecture was “imperfect,” and began to infuse his work with a variety of motifs drawn from nature. Gaudí followed advances in engineering and his work regularly features catenary curves, hyperbolic paraboloids, hyperboloids and helicoids, shapes which he used to create efficient (but more importantly dynamic and organic) structures.