November 24, 2014

Sagrada Família—Gaudí’s Unfinished Masterpiece: Geometry, Construction and Site

The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at The City College of New York
Sagrada Família Model Workshop, Section of
the apse,
2010. Plaster with cyanoacrylate,
approx. 24 x 24 x 50 inches (1/100 scale).
Courtesy of Bernard and Anne Spitzer School
of Architecture, New York.

Reviews: El País (translation in, MetropolisArchitectural RecordArchitizer


The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at The City College of New York is hosting a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition of La Sagrada Família, the magnum opus of Antoni Gaudí, the father of Catalan Modernisme. This is the only time that such a demonstration of Gaudí’s genius will be featured on American soil. Many institutions have vied for this singular opportunity, and City College is honored to offer this extraordinary experience to New York City.

Antoni Gaudí labored for more than four decades to build the Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Família in Barcelona. Yet, upon his death in 1926, his masterpiece was less than a quarter of the way near completion. Gaudí knew well that it only could be finished posthumously. He cultivated a unique fellowship among the craftsmen at work on the project, akin to that found in medieval workshops, which has fostered a collective effort across generations to realize the Sagrada Família. The spirit of collaboration that Gaudí fostered before his death has continued to nurture the project, with completion projected for the centenary of Gaudí’s death in 2026. The building’s workshop remains a laboratory for architectural experimentation today, even mobilizing digital technologies and three-dimensional printing to build upon Gaudí’s vision.

The ongoing use of scale plaster models binds a vital aspect of Gaudí’s working methods to those of today. These models have furnished the church’s builders with an important means to develop their visionary approach to structure and ornament as well as to conceptualize the project for the public. A stunning collection of these models is at the center of the exhibit Sagrada Família—Gaudí’s Unfinished Masterpiece: Geometry, Construction and Site. Curated by Dean George Ranalli, and co-curated by Professor Fabian Llonch, the exhibition of these models commemorates Gaudí’s legacy as part of the Sagrada Família’s unabated design and construction process. The exhibit marks the first display of these significant artifacts outside Europe. In the gallery, wall panels contextualize the models within the building’s design process, history, and unique place in Barcelona. The exhibition provides an unprecedented opportunity to understand the extraordinary accomplishments of the Sagrada Família’s builders who have been at work on the church for nearly a century and a half.

City College’s Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture is dedicated to teaching the practices of design that will improve our cities and our planet. As New York City’s only public school of architecture, the Spitzer School offers a rich learning environment built on CCNY’s long traditions of academic excellence and affordability. Hallmarks of our programs include a rigorous core curriculum, a student body with diverse backgrounds both within and outside architecture, a commitment to social engagement within the city, and opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration across programs. Approximately 400 students from the city, the country, and around the world who share our commitment to invention and justice study here in pursuit of professional undergraduate degrees in architecture and graduate degrees in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and sustainability.

Group tours available by advance arrangement. Contact [email protected] or [email protected] for more information.


Click here to view Oscar Riera Ojeda Publishers catalogue.

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