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© Carlos Martínez

Schools of Sagrada Familia

On the corner of the Sagrada Familia lot, in between Sardenya and Mallorca streets, you will find situated a small structure which Gaudí built using Catalonian brick (29x14x4 cm) between 1908 and 1909.

Although it was a provisional construction destined to be a school for the sons of the men who were working on the temple, it is considered one of the most important works of Guadinist architecture.

The structure occupies a space of 24 x 12 meters, and its highest point has an altitude of 6 meters. As we have already said, the structure is based on walls made of two layers of Catalonian brick placed vertically and held in place with mortar. And on the interior, three metal pilars hold up a double-T beam which supports the roof, made of three layers of brick.

One of the particularities of this small building is the undulation of its walls and roof. The first, allows the thin wall to maintain rigidity, and the second achieves the effect of dispersing the water down the sides in a very original manner.

The curves of the roof have the form of a cone. In order to achieve this form, one can use any curve of the undulation, for example, one of the two directrixes. In this case, the walls are the directrixes and the supporting beams on the walls and the Double-T beam are the generatrixes.

The interior of the school building consisted of three classrooms, in each of which 44-56 students studied. There were many windows and all were on a horizontal axis.

During the Spanish Civil War, the building was burned down twice. The first time was in 1936 and Gaudí's helper, Sugrañes, was in charge of reconstruction. The second time was at the end of the War (1939), and this time, architect Francisco de Paula Quintana was in charge of the reparations.

Today, this building is occupied by offices of Sagrada Familia and is open to visitation.

Recently, the construction on the sides of Sagrada Familia reached the School building, which will have to have a portion removed from one of its corners to make way.

During the International Conferences of Gaudinist Studies of 1998, celebrated in Reus, Dr. of Architect and professor at the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Josep Mª Adell, presented a transfer project, the move and rehabilitation of the Gaudí Schools, in order to avoid their demolition. At first, the proposition was accepted but last year the United Constructor of Sagrada Familia Directive decided that the proposal was not viable, and most likely now the building will be torn down to the ground and rebuilt again in another site.

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