The construction of one of the world’s most iconic buildings, the Sagrada Família, began in 1882 in the city of Barcelona under the visionary architect Antoni Gaudí. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, remains to be one of the most popular and busiest attractions in Catalonia, and its construction is still ongoing. Despite the fairly recent beginning for such an ambitious and complex project to be undertaken, the sprawling cathedral is liturgically set to be ready in the next few years.
The construction took a while to get off the ground due to the death of its original architect, Francisco de Paula del Villar who, in spite of his short time leading the project, managed to lay the foundations of the crypt and the apse, which are still partially visible under Gaudí’s work. Following Villa’s departure, Antoni Gaudí manouvered the project to the forefront of the Catalan Modernista movement and, under his leadership and his distinctive style, the foundations of the Passion and Glory facades, the Sagrada Família’s towers, the porticos and other spaces began to take shape. In spite of his untimely death, Gaudí left enough designs, premonitions and a certain aura that made the completion of his masterpiece possible.
It was only after the arrival of the architect Francesc de Quer in 1936 that a proper plan was undertaken, to both conclude the project and Gaudi’s artistic vision. His postmodernist take on architecture allowed Quer to blend his style with Gaudí’s and gave the Sagrada Família an unmistakable frimework. Quer’s advances allowed the Sagrada Família to take shape and, since then, the pace of the construction has been steadily and constantly rising, following the guidance of esteemed architects such as Jordi Bonet, Josep Maria Subirachs, and the current director of the works, the renowned Josep. M. Botes.
In spite of some setbacks through the years, including financial shortage and operational difficulties, the construction of the Sagrada Família has gained momentum over the last few years with new technological advances and the help of modern engineering techniques.Today, things have changed drastically and the Sagrada Família is one of the most active construction sites in the world. The construction has reached the final phase and the majority of the exterior spaces are already visible, including its four facades, 18 of the Sagrada Família’s towers, the apse and the crypt.
Although the Sagrada Família has been under construction for a total of 138 years, the last 80 years have been the most productive in terms of building monumental structures. While Gaudí managed to set up the foundations of the temple, it was in this more recent period that Quer and the other architects involved managed not only to finish the majority of its spaces, but also to use modern resources and technologies to expand its beauty and essence into what it is today.
Social Impact of the Sagrada Família
Since its beginnings as a project, the Sagrada Família’s construction has been under the spectre of controversy and has polarised opinions, due to the fact that its inauguration is still pending. Despite this, the Sagrada Família is one of the global benchmarks for Catalan culture, featuring highly on global travel bucket lists around the world. The construction of the Sagrada Família has also acted as an invaluable economic engine for Barcelona, and the surrounding suburbs, through creating jobs in order to obtain a steady and sustainable economic income.
In spite of its many setbacks, the impact of the Sagrada Família has become apparent to all; the project has been unifying and, to some extent, a symbol of resilience and determination in the face of adversity. During the democratic transition of Catalonia, the Sagrada Família served as an unfurled flag for Catalan culture, in particular through its promotion of the Catalan language, making it one of the most incredible cultural symbols of Catalonia.
Moreover,the Sagrada Família has acted as a building block for the Catalan identity, which has extended beyond its usage as a tourist attraction and as a place of worship for many believers. In some sense, the construction of its many towers, facades and other features has become a national project that was eagerly patrolled by the citizens of Barcelona, shaped by Gaudí’s creative and untamable spirit.
Cost of Constructing the Sagrada Família
When originally projected, it was thought that the construction of the Sagrada Família would cost an approximate total of 1 million gold pesetas. Even in Gaudí’s time, this amount was considered to be far beyond the capacity of the people he served, so it was only until recent years that the construction process has seen a breakthrough. Thanks to the incorporation of new technologies, some of economic effects of the project have been reduced.
In spite of the challenge of funding, the basilica has managed to raise some of the financial resources from donations from both private individuals and public organisations. According to official statistics, public funds represent less than 1% of the total amount of money that has been used for the construction of the Sagrada Família. Currently, construction costs have risen to approximately 180 million euros, with €25 million of these resources being used annually to sustain the project.
The cost of entry to the Sagrada Família is a large contributor to the cost of its construction and is used to pay for the specialist craftsmen who work on the building. There is even a dedicated office at the Sagrada Família which manages donations from private persons who want to contribute financially.
Grandeur of the Sagrada Família
One of the most remarkable features of the Sagrada Família is its sense of grandeur. The building is based on a complex and modernistic design with its stunning ceramic spirals, intricate patterns and turrets. Gaudí developed a unique style that gave the Sagrada Família its unique image and grandeur that can be seen in its facades, bell towers and other details.
Gaudí’s design also gave the Sagrada Família its characteristic awe-inspiring effect. The building has a strong presence in many of Barcelona’s emblematic spots, especially the park of the Sagrada Família and its wide array of ponds and gardens, at the very heart of Barcelona. These elements, coupled with its ambitious Cathedral-like architecture and take on a transcendent aspect that changes depending on the time of day.
The Sagrada Família is an example of how an ambitious project can turn into an iconic, locally and internationally recognised attraction. Despite having 139 years of construction, very soon the Sagrada Família will be finished with the help of all the people who have worked and are still working tireless in its construction and the help of all those who, thanks to its architectural beauty, have chosen the Sagrada Família as their preferred destination.
Sustainability of the Sagrada Família
The construction of the Sagrada Família has made a major contribution to the sustainable development of Catalonia. Through its use of local materials and sustainable energy, it has become a model of green construction. The incorporation of energy and water efficiency techniques, waste management, and the use of renewable energy sources have pushed the project to become one of the most sustainable construction sites in Catalonia.
The project has been hugely successful in not only reducing energy consumption, but also in showcasing cutting-edge technology, such as their efforts to build the temple with a minimal carbon footprint. In addition, the Sagrada Família has implemented an air quality monitoring system to prevent air pollution. This system helps to monitor the air outside the Temple to ensure it remains healthy by making sure it complies with World Health Organization standards for air quality.
The Sagrada Família has also implemented a water management system which helps to facilitate the sustainable use of water. This system includes the capture of rainwater to be reused in the garden, and a low-water-use technique to prevent runoff from occurring. By using low-water-use techniques, the Sagrada Família is able to save up to 17,500 cubic meters of water each year and to prevent any significant runoff.
In addition to these efforts, the Sagrada Família also has a strong commitment to renewable energy. Recently, they electrified several of the temple’s elevators and are currently working on installing a solar roof in order to produce renewable energy.
Preservation of the Sagrada Família
In order to maintain the quality of the Sagrada Família and its powerful energy, the project dedicates a huge amount of effort into its preservation. Following Gaudí’s impressive artistic legacy, the temple is continuously evolving to keep up with new technologies and to ensure the preservation of the unique spaces he created.
For example, the Sagrada Família has partnered up with different technology companies in order to use modern methods for the preservation of its large array of sculptures, mosaics and mural art. The team takes an active role in preserving their paintings and sculptures, making use of modern digital systems for the conservation of some of the temple’s most iconic features.
The Sagrada Família also maintains an extensive library that contains the works of Gaudi and many of the architects involved in its construction. The library serves as an archive of knowledge and organizes days of talks and lectures to educate people on the architectural and historical significance of the temple.The foundations have also implemented a 3D scanning system in order to monitor any changes in the building and to quickly identify any potential irregularities.
The Sagrada Família also takes part in numerous civic activities that help promote and educate people about the importance of preserving Gaudi’s legacy and the project itself. These include cultural events such as concerts, conferences, exhibitions, and activities held in order to raise funds for the temple’s preservation.
Community Involvement with the Sagrada Família
The Sagrada Família is a prime example of the power of commitment and community involvement in a project, and there is a wide network of friendly organizations involved with the temple. One of the most meaningful projects are the architectural workshops that are organized to provide educational opportunities at the Sagrada Família. These workshops are meant to inspire creativity and encourage a sense of community among both locals and visitors.
The temple has also encouraged a sense of solidarity amongst its workers, hosting many different activities such as volleyball tournaments and promoting team work among the construction staff. The workers are more than just an ensemble of artisans and architects, but a team of passionate individuals dedicated to preserving one of the world’s icons.
Not only is the temple a great source of pride for the people of Barcelona, but it also reinforces the need for collaboration amongst all of the stakeholders involved in its construction. The completion of the Sagrada Família will serve as a reminder of the importance of collaboration for the development of a unified and successful community.
The willingness of the people of Barcelona to come together and help in the preservation of the Sagrada Família is inspirational. It serves to show that, despite the setbacks and uncertainty of such an ambitious project, their determination is ultimately what will preserve this iconic temple and will help it reach its milestone of completion.