JUNE 10, ON THIS DAY
One of the most famous architects of the first half of the 20th century, Antoni Gaudi met with an untimely death on this day, June 10. He was killed at an age of 73 after being hit by a tram in 1926. Best known for developing intricate structures throughout Barcelona, he is still considered as a pioneer figure of Art Nouveau and Modernism. He earned the name of God’s architect because of the religious images that appeared in his works.
He was born in a family of a boilermaker in 1852 in the Catalonian City of Reus and he most of the time quoted that his family business had made him an efficient architect as he gained the ability to feel, to see the space before working. His childhood at a summer home spent studying and observing the natural world is also believed to have shaped his architectural style.
After graduating from Barcelona’s School of Architecture in 1878, he designed a display case for a Barcelona glove shop which was shown at the World’s Fair in Paris. His first commission from the City Council came in 1879, when he designed public lampposts that remain installed in city’s Placa Reial and Pla del Palau till today.
After making his mark in Barcelona in the 1880s with his distinctive architectural style, later in early 1900s, he executed some of his best-known structures such as Casa Batllo, La Pedrera and Park Guell around the city. Between 1984 and 2005 seven of his works were declared World Heritage sites by UNESCO.
Gaudi’s famous project, the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia came in 1883 which still remain incomplete owing to his death, and is expected to be finished by 2026. When he died just one part of the cathedral- the church’s bell tower dedicated to the apostle Barnabas was completed. The iconic exterior is marked by a cluster of intricate spires and highly detailed sculptural depictions of the life of Jesus Christ, it features 56 columns branching into a ceiling full of kaleidoscopic shapes and stained glass windows in electric blue, green, red, and orange hues. It is the most visited monument in Spain.