The Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (Catalan, “Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family”), often simply called the Sagrada Família, is a massive Roman Catholic church under construction in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Construction began in 1882 and continues to this day.
Originally designed by Antoni Gaudí (1852 – 1926), who worked on the project for over 40 years, devoting the last 15 years of his life entirely to the endeavor, the project is scheduled to be completed in 2026. On the subject of the extremely long construction period, Gaudí is said to have remarked, “My client is not in a hurry.” After Gaudí’s death in 1926, work continued under the direction of Domènech Sugranyes until interrupted by the Spanish Civil War in 1936.
Parts of the unfinished church and Gaudí’s models and workshop were destroyed during the war by Catalan anarchists. The design, as now being constructed, is based both on reconstructed versions of the lost plans and on modern adaptations. Since 1940 the architects Francesc Quintana, Isidre Puig Boada, Lluís Bonet i Gari and Francesc Cardoner have carried on the work. The current director and son of Lluís Bonet, Jordi Bonet i Armengol, has been introducing computers into the design and construction process since the 1980s. Mark Burry of New Zealand serves as Executive Architect and Researcher. Sculptures by J. Busquets, Etsuro Sotoo and the controversial Josep Subirachs decorate the fantastical façades.
Antoni Gaudí is the prime example of global architecture. In his works there is no difference between structures and decoration, you cannot tell when one finishes and starts the other. We must find the explanation for this brilliant creativity in his life, his love for the land, his mysticism and faith. That’s for sure that never again somebody has been able to reproduce natural shapes -which are part of our world from its genesis- with the magnificence and luxury developed by Gaudí.