Antoni Gaudi was born on 25th June 1852 in Reus, Catalonia, Spain.
He attended school in Barcelona, the city that would become home to most of his great works.
He studied architecture in Barcelona, Spain at the Escola Tecnica Superior d’Arquitectura but he was not a very good student. After five years, in 1878, Gaudi officially became an architect.
He began designing small projects but soon met Eusebi Guell. Guell became Gaudi’s patron and the architect designed buildings and parks in his name.
Gaudi spent a great deal of time outdoors. He was fascinated by nature and, when he was 27, he joined the Centre Excursionista de Catalunya – a group of people who explored the countryside of Catalonia and France.
Antoni Gaudi did not like to draw plans for his buildings. He preferred to build 3D models of them to create a more accurate portrayal of what he was seeing in his mind.
During his lifetime, Gaudí worked in many styles. These included Orientalism, Neo-Gothic, Gothic Revival, Naturalism, and an overarching Modernism.
Gaudi disliked straight lines and angles because they don’t often appear naturally. Instead, he based his design on the swirling curves of nature.
Gaudí didn’t just use the natural world for inspiration; he used it to develop architectural techniques. Gaudí analyzed plants, animals, and geothermal formations to see how they naturally supported shapes and weight. The orbit of the stars was used to design the helicoidal columns.
He was known for integrating ceramics, stained glass, wrought ironwork forging, and carpentry into his designs.
You can see the characteristics of Art Nouveau in Gaudi’s work. There are bright tile mosaics and curving lines. He was very influenced by nature as you can see in the chimneys at Palau Guell.
The main work of Gaudi is the church of Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) to which he devoted more than forty years of his life and is still remains unfinished.
The second most famous Gaudi´s works is Park Guell built in 1914. It is located in the Gracia district just few minutes by public transport from the center.
The Casa Batllo is a renovation, not an original construction, yet one accomplished with such style and skill that it has become one of Gaudi’s best known projects.
The Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera (The Quarry), is awash with balconies both on the exterior and surrounding the interior atrium.
After 1910, Gaudi abandoned nearly all other work to focus on the Sagrada Familia, which he had begun in 1883.
In 1906, Gaudi bought the house and lived there with his father and niece. His father died that very same year, and his niece in 1912. Since then, Gaudi lived there alone until the end of 1925, when, a few months before his death in 1926, moved to the workshop of the Sagrada Familia Basilica.
Gaudi died in a traffic accident in 1926. Because of his shabby appearance, he was mistaken for a beggar and did not receive immediate medical attention.
A large crowd gathered to bid farewell to him in the chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the crypt of the Sagrada Familia.
After his death, Gaudí’s works suffered a period of neglect and were largely unpopular among international critics, who regarded them as baroque and excessively imaginative.
Gaudí’s reputation was beginning to recover by the 1950s, when his work was championed not only bySalvador Dalí but also by architect Josep Lluís Sert.
International recognition of Gaudí’s contributions to the field of architecture and design culminated in the 1984 listing of Gaudí’s key works as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.