- What are the objectives of the said Center?
We follow some of the guidelines which were outlined by César Martinell, such as, for example, the catalogization of Gaudí's work, the carrying out of cycles of conferences, and the analysis of Gaudí's work from various different points of view; but others we don't follow (because, historically, these are different times), such as, for example, Martinell claimed a separation between the tourist and scientific aspects, which we no longer believe to hold because people, at many times, carry out tourism and investigation simultaneously.
- These days, Luis Gueilburt offers a course on Gaudí in the Polytechnic Universtity of Barcelona. Do you believe that sufficient information Gaudí's work is conveyed in the universitarial sphere?
No, at the moment, no. I think that beginning this year the universities will become conscience of this; I don't know to what degree, but I hope that with the International Year of Gaudí, new people of distinct disciplines will be incorporated into Gaudí studies. For now, I think that the course I teach is, unfortunately, the only monographic course on Gaudí's work that exists, despite the fact that I know of a few iniciatives inside the School of Architecture, in the Construction Department, and others in the Vallés School, but not of monographic nature. I think that there should exist in this field an underlying matter that is Gaudí, in general, and from there you can go deeper still. I think that at any moment we will achieve this. For the moment, we continue with the matter of free choice, which is not obligatory, but 90 students do attend.
- What activities have the Center for Gaudinist Studies forecast for the year 2002, declared by the City of Barcelona, "The Year of Gaudí"?
The Center of Gaudí studies organizes the International Congress of Gaudinist Studies, which will be the official congress of The Year of Gaudí. This will be the most important event we will put on, but we are also preparing an exposition with the College of Master Builders and Techinical Architects of Barcelona on the ceramic work of Gaudí, and will be organizing events with other intitutions, other conferences, expositions, etc.
- What information can you give us on Gaudí's relationships with women (other than those in his family)? Did he have relationships (sexual or non-sexual) with women? Michael Botts
We know very little about the intimate life of Gaudí. Mainly because Gaudí was a person who spoke very little, and even less on personal matters, and above all, his intenetions were always in the field of architecture and art. But evidently, like any individual, he surely had some attractive loves in his youth, but was never able to make one follow through. According to the biographies and stories told, Gaudí had two possible girlfriends, but was never able to concrete either relationship. One was Pepita Moreu, daughter of one of the most important members of the cooperative Obrera Mataronense and was probably for that reason that Gaudí occupied himself with that work, more than it was due to work-related problems or social issues.
Some biographers say that Gaudí achieved all of these sexual and non-sexual expectations in his art and architecture. Other others claim that certain erotic figures seen in the chimneys of la Pedrera and other works can be veiwed as the development of this unfulfilled sexuality.
None of these issues have ever been very clear, however.
In any case, in that period, there were not many female architects (not because women weren't interested, but because they had a very limited spectrum of work possibilities). Thus, Gaudí probably had very few relationships with women in general. Women didn't work with him on his projects, and he probably only had relationships with women in his family; in addition, he was a very shy and isolated man.
- If Gaudí had finished Sagrada Familia himself, how do you think the towers would look? Would they be similar to how they are now? Mirta Asunción
This is very difficult to know because Gaudí, in spite of the fact that he left behind a definitive model in Paris in the exposition of 1911, the four towers are similar, but only the Nativity facade is shown. Therefore, the 12 towers that WILL be when the work is complete will have to be similar as well. There will always be differences, however, because, for example, the bases of the towers on the Nativity façade are circular, which the bases of those on the Passion facade are eliptical.
There is another model of the work by Gaudí which serves to show what the pinnacle of the tower was to look like with stone; but he finishes with Armored Concrete. With the discovery of this material, the form is modified and capable of being more slender.
We don't know, because the grace of Gaudí's work lies in the fact that Gaudí modified everything he did while he was still constructing it. When Gaudí's presence is lacking, then the work loses something; but of course, it's evident that he took into consideration that the construction would last a few hundred years and that it would have to be finished by other architects and projectors, and therefore, although the figures we see today are not the ones which Gaudí himself produced, they are the ones which he left to be produced by others in the future.