Now let’s go inside the church. Please remember that this is the House of God, and that, as well as visitors, there are also worshippers here, who must not be disturbed.
While we walk around the inside of the church, I will tell you how I designed the layout. My predecessor, the architect Francisco de Paula del Villar designed the church on a cruciform plan with five naves, and I respected this layout, as I have always considered this to be the best system for celebrating the rites of the Eucharist. However I enlarged it to improve the views and perception of space from any point in the church. I also added the cloister to the initial design and I swapped the Gothic look for a style that was closer to nature. I have always been fascinated by the beauty and resistance of the organic forms of plants and trees, so they are a constant feature of my work.
Take a look at the columns. Have you ever seen column shafts shaped like tree trunks? Aren’t they beautiful? They also shift the load of the vaulted ceiling directly onto the floor, and that removed the need for buttresses. They are known as double helix columns, and they had never before been seen in architecture. Although you may not believe this, I was inspired by natural materials that achieve maximum resistance using the minimum material, such as the bones of birds, or eggshells. Look how they change from a polygonal shape at the base, to become almost circular at the top.
(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Diego Laforga Marcos (2013)
Source: Own work
Author: Carlos Marcos (2013)
Picture: Temple´s elevation by Paula del Villar (1882)
Author: Rainer Zerbst, Antoni Gaudí, Ed. Taschen, Köln (1985), ISBN 3-8228-7011-0
Licence: This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.
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Independently produced by MUSMon.com, the audio guide for the Church of La Sagrada Familia offers you a broad-ranging, light-hearted and educational tour of the work of a unique and universal architect: Antoni Gaudi. There are 90 minutes of commentary, illustrated with over 73 high quality images, so you won’t miss a single detail during your visit.
If you are heading for Barcelona, the Expiatory Church of La Sagrada Familia is a must-see. +info