The vaulted ceiling and columns

Now let´s go over towards the high altar. But before we get there, we shall stop around the middle of the nave. Then I will tell you about the Sagrada Familia´s system of vaulting and we will take a little rest. My old legs are starting to feel tired! Why don´t we find somewhere nice and quiet to gaze at the ceiling?

Look, see how the columns are interlaced with the roof vaulting, allowing light to flow between them. Let me explain that, in technical terms, these are double twisted forms, created by straight lines based on parabolic and hyperbolic shapes – although I prefer to say that we are looking at a large stone forest, full of tree trunks and branches topped by the crowns of the trees. Manuals on architecture say that this was an extraordinary solution, discovered by a genius. But to be honest, all I did was take the organic forms of nature and transfer them to stone. Although I did employ a geometric regularity that would ensure they were stable. I used the technique known as the Catalan Vault, which involves layering bricks and mortar, and which I then covered with pyramid shapes, topped by a lantern and a lamp.

Besides creating perfect acoustics, what I aimed to do with this structure was to allow daylight to enter the church from above, in a gentle and harmonious manner. Light also enters through the side windows, with an artistic effect created by the abstract stained glass, making the kind of secluded space that is required for praying to God.

(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Diego Laforga Marcos (2013)

Source: Own work
Author: Carlos Marcos (2013)