Under the Shadow of Master Designer: Antonio Gaudi

Inside La Sagrada Familia

Like what my design professor said, architects are like God and I am not sure of becoming one. I think this one was God or one of the few architects to ever achieve Godly work.The Catalan architect and creative-head Antonio Gaudi designed one of the most magnificent architectural masterpieces to ever grace human life.

While Barcelona is thronged with diverse creatively designed spaces and buildings, only one that I believe would make my 90-year old religious grandfather hold his breath; Sagrada Familia.

The 136 year Gothic architecture church was Gaudi’s idea; and he wanted a building that could glorify God as the supreme source of all creation; hence the inspiration from nature.


Gaudi was commissioned in 1882 to design the church for Barcelona city and up to this day, Sagrada Familia has theoretically been a construction site as the work has never been finished and he acknowledged will never be finished in his lifetime.

Only Masters devote themselves to this degree and this iconic church is expected to be done by 2030.


Standing tall at 120 metres, with 18 towers that represent the different facets of Christianity e.g, 12 Apostles, Evangelists, Virgin Mary, its architectural scale is dwarfing Barcelona Skyline. It will become the world’s tallest church once all 18 towers are completed including the main tower representing Jesus Christ which will reach approximately 172 metres. This verticality creates a unique silhouette especially when viewed against the sunset or sunrise.

Material and Technique

Gaudi used materials such as granite for the towers, reinforced concrete and steel to strengthen the structure. Rare Sandstone previously available from nearby hills was also used and today is only available by salvaging old buildings. Use of prefabrication technique has been widely used during its construction period e.g the Prefabricated Venetian glass.


Any designer can admit that it’s possible to get intoxicated by the detailing prowess Gaudi possessed.

Sagrada Familia is an obscenely detailed building. In other words, it’s like a painting in 3D. So good that no facades look similar and each corner is uniquely designed. Just like in nature’s diversity, each creation has a distinctive identity.

Inside Sagrada Familia

If you value your breath, take caution when entering because the interior is just breath-taking.

It feels like entering the Amazon forest. Again, drawing inspiration from nature, Like tall Amazonas trees rise to meet the sun, the columns are rising tall to meet the artistically decorated ceiling illuminated by the natural light beaming through the tinted windows.

I always stand under the shadow of this masterpiece whenever in Barcelona as there’s an aura of creativity that replenishes my soul.

Looking back, I think my professor was right to say Gaudi was like God and irrespective of one’s faith, you feel His presence here.


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