Sagrada Família: Wikis

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Sagrada Família

The Sagrada Família by night in March 2006 (Nativity façade)

Basic information
Location Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Geographic coordinates 41°24′13″N 2°10′28″E / 41.40361°N 2.17444°E / 41.40361; 2.17444
Affiliation Roman Catholic
Leadership Archbishop Lluís Martínez Sistach
Website www.sagradafamilia.cat
View from the Casa Milà

The Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (official Catalan name; Spanish: Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia; "Expiatory Church of the Holy Family"), often simply called the Sagrada Família, is a massive, privately-funded Roman Catholic church that has been under construction in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain since 1882 and is not expected to be complete until at least 2026. A portion of the building's interior is scheduled to open for public worship and tours by September 2010[1].

Considered the master-work of renowned Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926), the project's vast scale and idiosyncratic design have made it one of Barcelona's (and Spain's) top tourist attractions for many years. The church is to be consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI on November 7, 2010, during his visit to Santiago de Compostela and Barcelona.[2]

Contents

Construction history

The Sagrada Familia was designed by Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926), who worked on the project from 1883 and devoted the last fifteen years of his life entirely to the endeavour. In 1882, prior to Gaudí's involvement, Francesc del Villar was commissioned to design a church on the site. He resigned a year later and Gaudí was appointed the project architect, redesigning the project entirely. 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 barn and Gaudí's models and workshop were destroyed during the war by Catalan anarchists. The present design is based on reconstructed versions of the lost plans as well as 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 illumination was designed by Carles Buigas. 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.

According to the newspaper El Periódico de Catalunya, 2.26 million people visited the partially built church in 2004, making it one of the most popular attractions in Spain. The central nave vaulting was completed in 2000 and the main tasks since then have been the construction of the transept vaults and apse. As of 2006, work concentrates on the crossing and supporting structure for the main tower of Jesus Christ as well as the southern enclosure of the central nave which will become the Glory façade.

Recently, the Ministry of Public Works of Spain (Ministerio de Fomento in Spanish), has projected the construction of a tunnel for the high speed train just under where the principal façade of the temple has to be built. Although the ministry claims that the project poses no risk to the church, the engineers and architects of the temple disagree as there is no guarantee that the tunnel will not affect the stability of the building. A campaign is being waged by the Sagrada Família preservation society (Patronat de la Sagrada Família) and the neighbourhood association AVE pel Litoral.

Design

Model of the completed church
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Towers

Every part of the design of La Sagrada Família is replete with Christian symbolism, as Gaudí intended the church to be the "last great sanctuary of Christendom". Its most striking aspect is its spindle-shaped towers. A total of eighteen tall towers are called for, representing in ascending order of height the Twelve Apostles, the four Evangelists, the Virgin Mary and, tallest of all, Jesus Christ. (According to the 2005 "Works Report" of the temple's official website, drawings signed by Gaudí found recently in the Municipal Archives indicate that the tower of the Virgin was in fact intended by Gaudí to be shorter than those of the evangelists, and this is the design — which the Works Report states is more compatible with the existing foundations — that will be followed. The same source explains the symbolism in terms of Christ being known through the Evangelists.) The Evangelists' towers will be surmounted by sculptures of their traditional symbols: a bull (St Luke), a winged man (St Matthew), an eagle (St John), and a lion (St Mark). The central tower of Jesus Christ is to be surmounted by a giant cross; the tower's total height (170 m) will be one metre less than that of Montjuïc (a hill in Barcelona), as Gaudí believed that his work should not surpass that of God. Lower towers are surmounted by communion hosts with sheaves of wheat and chalices with bunches of grapes, representing the Eucharist.

Façades

The Church will have three grand façades: the Nativity façade to the East, the Glory façade to the South (yet to be completed) and the Passion façade to the West. The Nativity facade was built before work was interrupted in 1935 and bears the most direct Gaudí influence. The Passion façade is especially striking for its spare, gaunt, tormented characters, including emaciated figures of Christ being flogged and on the crucifix. These controversial designs are the work of Josep Maria Subirachs.

Interior

Tree-like supporting pillars of roof

The church plan is that of a Latin cross with five aisles. The central nave vaults reach forty-five metres while the side nave vaults reach thirty metres. The transept has three aisles. The columns are on a 7.5 metre grid. However, the columns of the apse, resting on del Villar's foundation, do not adhere to the grid, requiring a section of columns of the ambulatory to transition to the grid thus creating a horseshoe pattern to the layout of those columns. The crossing rests on the four central columns of porphyry supporting a great hyperboloid surrounded by two rings of twelve hyperboloids (currently under construction). The central vault reaches sixty metres. The apse will be capped by a hyperboloid vault reaching seventy-five metres. Gaudí intended that a visitor standing at the main entrance be able to see the vaults of the nave, crossing, and apse, thus the graduated increase in vault loftiness.

The columns of the interior are a unique Gaudí design. Besides branching to support their load, their ever-changing surfaces are the result of the intersection of various geometric forms. The simplest example is that of a square base evolving into an octagon as the column rises, then a sixteen-sided form, and eventually to a circle. This effect is the result of a three-dimensional intersection of helicoidal columns (for example a square cross-section column twisting clockwise and a similar one twisting counter-clockwise).

Geometric details

Alpha and Omega carving at Sagrada Família entrance.
Key to the symbolism of the church.

The towers on the Nativity façade are crowned with geometrically shaped tops that are reminiscent of Cubism (they were finished around 1930), and the intricate decoration is contemporary to the style of Art Nouveau, but Gaudí's unique style drew primarily from nature, not other artists or architects, and resists categorization.

Gaudí used hyperboloid structures in later designs of the Sagrada Família (more obviously after 1914), however there are a few places on the nativity façade—a design not equated with Gaudí's ruled-surface design, where the hyperboloid crops up. For example, all around the scene with the pelican there are numerous examples (including the basket held by one of the figures). There is a hyperboloid adding structural stability to the cypress tree (by connecting it to the bridge). And finally, the "bishop's mitre" spires are capped with hyperboloid structures[3]. In his later designs, ruled surfaces are prominent in the nave's vaults and windows and the surfaces of the Passion facade.

Symbolism

Themes throughout the decoration include words from the liturgy. The towers are decorated with words such as "Hosanna", "Excelsis", and "Sanctus"; the great doors of the Passion façade reproduce words from the Bible in various languages including Catalan; and the Glory façade is to be decorated with the words from the Apostles' Creed.

Areas of the sanctuary will be designated to represent various concepts, such as saints, virtues and sins, and secular concepts such as regions, presumably with decoration to match.

Burials

Current status

The building works are expected to be completed around 2026, the 100th anniversary of Gaudí's death, although the likelihood of meeting this date is disputed.[citation needed] Computer Aided design technology has been used to speed up the construction of the building; initially, the construction work was expected to last for several hundred years, based on building techniques available in the early 1900s.[citation needed] This technology allows each block of stone to be shaped off-site by a CNC milling machine, whereas in the 1900s, the stone was carved by hand.[4] The best description of the current means of construction and future plans is in a catalogue in an exhibition at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum Frankfurt am Main.[5]

There is a current of thought among some renowned Catalan architects advocating a halt to construction[6], in order to respect Gaudí's original designs (which are not exhaustive and have been partially completed in recent years).

The church is scheduled to open for worship by September 2010[1].

Funding

Construction on Sagrada Família is not supported by any government or official church sources. Private patrons funded the initial stages.[7] Money from tickets purchased by tourists is now used to pay for the work, and private donations are accepted through the Friends of the Temple.

The construction budget for 2009 is €18 million. [1]

Media

SagradaFamilia.ogg
Short video showing architectural features of Sagrada Familia


Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c La Sagrada Familia se abrirá al culto en septiembre de 2010, El País, 13 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-19
  2. ^ "POPE TO VISIT SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA AND BARCELONA". Vatican City: Vatican Information Service. March 4, 2010. http://212.77.1.245/news_services/press/vis/dinamiche/c0_en.htm. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  3. ^ M.C. Burry; J.R. Burry, G.M. Dunlop & A. Maher (2001). Drawing Together Euclidean and Topological Threads. The 13th Annual Colloquium of the Spatial Information Research Centre, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. http://www.business.otago.ac.nz/SIRC05/conferences/2001/05_burry.pdf. Retrieved 2008-08-05.  The paper explores the assemblies of second order hyperbolic surfaces as they are used throughout the design composition of the Sagrada Família Church building.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Gaudi Unseen, M Burry ed., Jovis Verlag, Berlin, 2007
  6. ^ ¿Por qué no parar la Sagrada Familia?
  7. ^ "Sagrada Familia "Church of the Holy Family"". Essential Architecture, by Tom Fletcher. http://www.essential-architecture.com/SPAIN/SP-BA/BA-006.htm. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 

Sources

  • Schneider, Rolf (2004). Manfred Leier. ed. 100 most beautiful cathedrals of the world: A journey through five continents. trans. from German by Susan Ghanouni and Rae Walter. Edison, New Jersey: Chartwell Books. p. 33. 

External links


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