Summertime in Barcelona
Lara Fontana spent five days last summer in Barcelona and she discovered all Gaudí's works. Here you can see her pictures.

Gaudí Style Artist
Since 13 years ago Livia Garreta has been working on trencadís decorations (inside and outside) and now she presents them at her website.

May 2001
Joan Bassegoda

- Did Gaudí carry out complex mathematical calculations or did he base his work more on empirical proofs at the time of construction? Helena Martínez

With empirical proofs at the base of the catenaric arches or at the base of the multi-cord models. A very elemental system of calculation, but very precise.

For example, the famouse model of the Colonia Güell gives the exact form of the building because it was based on the laws of gravity. Whereas in a structural calculation you can be mistaken by one decimal and destroy the entire work.

He used this system for a very simple reason: because nature works in this way and nature is quite wise. So, Gaudí used nature as his model and saw that these forms existed and that they were very suitable, and so he used them in his buildings. Gaudí did not make trees; he made columns. But deep down, the function of a tree is, in many ways, the function of a column.

- How would you describe the personality of Antoni Gaudí keeping in mind the connection between Faith, Love, and dedication to his work? Narcisa

Gaudí was a very ingenious, infantile, and timid person. This is what we have deduced since he never talked about himself. I define him not as an architect, but rather a constructor who knew how to see structural forms in nature and translate them into architecture. But in order to be able to see this he had to be quite ingenious; he had to be almost like a child. And this is his particularity.

They say: "A complicated Barroque architect…" Well, he's not Barroque! Yes, Gaudí is Barroque, but Barroque of nature, and nature never does anything on whim, nor to win contests. And it does this because it has to do things like that, and not in any other way. And Gaudí follows this path. The thing is that this is very different than what other architects, who are thoretical and philosophical, do.

- Can we make a comparison between Gaudí and Soren Kierkegaard from the point of view of their personal lives and their development as artists and human beings? Narcisa

Kierkegaard was a philosopher, of a very violent philosophy, but always based on very complicated thought.

Not Gaudí. They are more simple ideas. He was very religious, very ingenious, very simple, and did not like ideas that were overly complicated. He didn't even like poetry! He said: "Poetry gives me headaches; if something can be said in prose, why do we have to say it in verse?"

- How has Gaudí's architecture influenced the architecture of Barcelona? Trine Jessen (Denmark)

It hasn't.

There is a concept in architecture which is the style and the mode. An architect makes a cuilding and then others copy his forms. And if not, then from books, magazines, etc. This is what gives place to styles. It is evident that the gothics all copied from each other. If not, the gothic churches would not all be so similar. And the same thing with rationalism.

Gaudí, on the other hand, doesn't copy anyone, only nature. When one attempts to copy Gaudí, the result is a bungle, a gaudiniad.

What one has to do - and this is Gaudí's lesson - is observe nature. As nature offers millions of solutions different from those of Gaudí, you will obtain results different from Gaudí's as well.

But what one cannot do is copy. Although Guadí considered himself a copier, and not a creator. But, he copied nature. When he was asked what his favorite architecture book was, he would say: "Look, this tree you see right here outside." This is a totally different concept.

- So, since we've decided that Gaudí didn't copy from any other style, can we really claim that Gaudí belonged to "Modernism"?

No! All you have to do is go to the Passeig de Gracia and look at the the Discordia block to know that Gaudí is completely distinct.

Gaudí was outside of his time. What he did could be done now or could have been done in the 14th Century because working with buildings by compression does not rely on any new techniques. In any case, new techniques and modern inventions would serve him well, but he wouldn't have to depend on them. His architecture is pure logic.

Thank you very much for your kindness.

Carlos Martínez

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