Basilica de la Sagrada Família: Glory Facade
Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
This project is creating a new scholarly understanding of the Basilica Sagrada Família in Barcelona, the greatest work of the architect Antoni Gaudí, a major building in the history of architecture and a building that remains under construction over 130 years after it’s construction commenced. By adapting a computer-aided design technique known as parametric design to create designs that are consistent with all of the available historical information on the site, new insights are gained into Gaudí’s own generative system. The results from these investigations are used to specify how the structure is actually being completed, thus making the Basilica itself a statement of Gaudí’s design intent.
During the Spanish Civil War in 1936, a group of vandals broke into the cathedral’s workshop, housing all of Gaudís’ work, destroying the record of the design for the construction of the building, drawings were set alight and plaster model were shattered.
This site is dedicated to the research carried out at three sites: the technical office of the Basilica Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia and UPC University, Catalunya. While it draws on the widest scholarship for an understanding of Gaudi’s work and life, the focus of the research detailed here is the continuing construction of the church. It starts from the interpretation and “reverse engineering” of Gaudi’s own models to fully understanding his intentions, a forensic approach to the surviving evidence, and is largely concerned with Gaudi’s technique and contemporary opportunities to advance the work.
A collection of 36 surviving fragments are all that remain of Gaudí’s proposed design for the Gloria façade. Over a two site visits the SIAL team capture all relevant data to begin the forensic analysis of the remaining evidence of Gaudís’ vision for the façade. The digital scanned data then went through a series of software packages to automatically extrapolate any basic information about the model. The relevant information is then modelled digitally using parametric software, this give the team the ability to make fast and accurate changes to the overall size and proportions of the façade to result in a multiple differing design outputs.