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These photographs, just like the text, are courtesy of the Sagrada Familia Temple Building Committee.

The report is by Dr. Architect Jordi Bonet i Armengol, Head of the Temple architects.

Our collaborator Karlus uses to take photographs of the Gaudí works and Barcelona buildings. If you want to see some of his various topic photographs, tell it to him and he will try to make you happy!

Sagrada Familia
Status of the Construction: January 2003

The International Gaudí Year has been over. It has resulted satisfactory in all senses, and it is important to point out that the building works of the Temple have gone on with energy and in nearly his overall surface. Although, excepting the restoration and shift of the Parish school, which is quite visible, cannot be shown as somewhat spectacular. Without any doubt, the finishing of the Resurrection window, with its stained glass, and the placing of the new 120 m, high crane with the ambulatory columns and the impulse with which the closing walls of the Glory Façade. They show the activity being carried out, which is fundamental so as to be able, in the next years, to offer results which, could hardly been imagined not a long time ago.

Abse columns
Once finished the ambulatory columns and most of the singing gallery of the apse being concreted, it has been started the placing of the knots or capitals of the ten columns which surround the chancel. That task, which will take the whole year which now starts and which will enable to go on upwards. Of the Eastern winding stair, it has been started the concretion and, besides, the enclosing wall of the lift has already reached the height of 7 m.
The reinforcement of the closing windows of the apse has most of its reinforcement in place and the columns rising somewhat upwards are being prepared. It has been a very complicated task to adapt to the reality of the work. It was built a century ago: chapels, buttresses, masonry and inner stone walls, following the primitive neo-gothic solution, which has obliged to adapt to the normal differences of real measures in the execution of the work.

Restored Crypt
In the Christmas Eve, 2002, the restoration made in the crypt enabled to see it almost wholly with the new lighting. It allows to admire its details and the contributions of the young Gaudí and, after a lot of months in which the dust and water of the works made it difficult to feel all the neo-gothic harmonic quality of that ensemble.
We will have to wait some more months to get it completely finished. The angel-headed brackets, destroyed in 1936, are yet to be restored and to open the windows giving to the ambulatory from the Temple level, which have remained blocked all that time, and also the instalment of a lift which will permit the access of the helpless to the crypt. The sacristies must also be restored, will bring some disturbances to the parishioners.

Central large window of the Passion Façade
The bridge linking the two central belfries of the façade, even though masked by the scaffolding, is very advanced and which is intended to be finished by Easter. The Resurrection stained glass window is totally finished and, despite that part of the scaffolding doesn't allow it to be seen completely, has deserved the praise from everybody.
Subirachs goes on working in the iconography of the patriarchs and prophets of the rear wall of the gable which is now being started to be built. It is also very advanced the model of the Rising Christ figure, which, being made of gilt bronze, will crown the façade.
Work goes on in the drawing and the solution for the execution of the 18 stone columns of the pediment is being studied, all them being formed by intersections of paraboloids, being similar, but all of them different.

Top large window of the cloister
The six upper windows of three bays have been placed and they reach the level of the Temple height; the fifth bay is delayed because it had to wait for the shift of the Parish school, which prevented its building. The linking passage of the southern edge of the Passion Façade has been built, which continues the access ramp, which will rise from the Mallorca-Sardenya corner. The preparation of the stone of the cloister neo-gothic by the seaside in the Nativity Façade goes on.

Once the central nave vaults adjoining the Passion Façade, formed by hyperboloids have been finished, it can be admired the articulation with the window geometry, while the North-western window is built, after having left visible and finished the pomegranate crowning.
The building of the Nativity transept vaults goes on, despite the difficulties involving the linking with the upper rear part of the façade built by the very Gaudí.

The Transept building

Once the complicated placing of the reinforcements supporting the evangelist Matthew and John lanterns has been overcome, finally are built the windows and branches of two of the central columns of the crossing which, possibly, by next Easter, they will reach the height of 45 m.

Once the Passion central nave is covered, a second crane was placed over the vaults among the belfries, which has replaced the one which, during some thirty years, had helped in the building of the façade.


Clusters of grapes of the central nave covering
The first crowning with the grapes and the chalice -the eucharistic symbols- are being placed and sculptor Sotoo has accomplished the compromise of finishing the tassels and bread one, which will be placed next. The task of alternating the diversity of tones and forms of nearly thirty of such elements will last about three years, given its magnitude and the height of 60 m to which they are located.

It has nearly reached the height of 5 m over the Mallorca street level, of the lower closing wall, with the complexity of entrances, circular elements and columns, which form this 50 m. wide façade.
The volume study model, left by Gaudí, has been installed in the Parish school. Work proceeds in the 1:25 scale model of the interior and exterior till the vault height of 45 m. They part from the drawings made in the Technical Office, with the definitive triforia solutions, which correspond to the “Rood screen“, to the central choir loft, the windows and the seven access portals to the Temple interior, from the main Glory façade.
It is previewed to have all it built till the Temple level next April and all the constructive system is prepared, which will allow to advance, with the greatest speed, the raising of the façade wall, which will close the main nave ensemble.


Interior of the schools
At the ending of October, it was opened to visit the restore Parish school, shifted to the new location, a few metres away they were, with the exhibition bearing the title L’obrador de Gaudí (Gaudí’s workshop).
It has been a considerable effort carried out by the whole technical staff. The Duocastella enterprise and all the collaborators which has enabled to make, in a few months, this hard and compromising task, which may be considered as the most emblematic contribution which the Temple Building Committee has devoted to the Gaudí International Year. We have had an important economic contribution, by the Departament d’Obres Públiques i Ordenació del Territori de la Generalitat de Catalunya.
The replica being built in Badalona, on behalf of the Gaudí Institute of Construction, not yet finished by now, but it has served efficaciously to offer the utmost fidelity to the original, with the constructive solutions, which, otherwise, would have considerably increased the task to be done.
The life-size models of vaults, columns, hyperboloids, etc. are being made, which are combined with the restoration of the models, which incorporate the original fragments in place. It may be considered very important all the contribution of the modelmakers’ workshop to the exhibition of the recovered space of the Parish school, with the explanatory models, which tell the dedication, the discoveries and the new architecture, which Gaudí developed in his workshop. It must be remarked that, to most of the exhibitions presented in diverse places during the International Gaudí Year, our modelmakers’ intervention has been fundamental.
Apart from having contributed with drawings, to explain the task being presently carried out, which is exposed both in the Montserrat Cloister and in the Parish school. The tasks of drawing the apse, crossing, roofs, the Glory Façade, the cloister, etc., go on and the calculations and details of the crossing structure, of the evangelists and of the Glory Façade closing wall. It must be pointed out that the bevellings of stone, columns and walls, have to be drawn and, that in the Techcnical Office are studied. The technological solutions which take profit of informatics for the stonecutting and to prepare the models for triforia, railings, stairs, windows and, also, for studying the solutions of lamps, and other elements we have thanks to the originals which Gaudí left established. This task requires both a geometrical and informatic knowledge, which are not very usual, for they are fundamentally a task of research.
On the occasion of the course on the restoration of Gaudí’s monuments, organised by the Architects College of Catalunya, last December, a very broad information was given, in front of some hundreds of architects of international range, of the task being done and the reception was unanimously favourable.
The opening of the Parish school, devoted to the exhibit the Gaudí’s workshop, has enabled to dispose of the didactical classroom, which is very fitting to integrate the museum offer, especially in a place in which the number of schoolboys and visitors which come there is very large. By means of the plaster models, the audiovisuals, the explanatory panels of the geometric forms and the diversity of architectural applications ideated by Gaudí, are exhibited a scenography reproducing part of the original school classroom, and that of the architect’s table and working place. For the first time, in a permanent and systematic way, the ruled surfaces –conoids, hyperboloids, hyperbolic paraboloids, helicoids, ellipsoids– are explained. The original restored elements and, above all, the generation of the architectonic results which Gaudí qualified of «new architecture», with the application of the geometrical laws and the modulation he established to leave specified the future of the great work of the Temple, which he certainly knew he wouldn’t finish. The destroyed funicular model, has been reproduced, by means of which Gaudí calculated the structure of the naves. Also the generation of the Gaudí’s column, through an ingenuous machine, which reproduces the double twist movements, which completes what shown in a screen. There is also the sample of the research test made in the interpretation of the form with which Gaudí solved the illumination of the naves and a fragment of the boarded brick vault with which the central nave vaults have been built. All this technological deployment is the result of the research being carried out along the last years. This has collaborated in an important way to make that the figure of Gaudí may have a high world wide value and altogether has given the proofs which have made rectify opinions against the continuing of the works in the way they are being carried out.

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