Cheryl and Emerson Martlage

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© Carlos Martínez
Colony Güell Proposal

In the VII International Conferences of Gaudinist Studies celebrated this past November in Delf, Holland, a fantastic proposal was presented by Cheryl and Emerson Martlage, of the United States. Their proposal was to construct the church that Gaudí had designed for Colony Güell, of which only the Crypt was completed.

From the Gaudí & Barcelona Club we have contacted the Martlages to have them explain more specifically their ideas. "The idea of completing the church has many possible responses, and it si too early to speculate on how and where it might be realized. We must keep in mind the complexity of such a proposal. Solutions will have to be carefully considered and broadly discussed over time."

For now, Emerson and Cheryl are compiling information and formulating alternatives in collaboration with schools and experts in Europe. "The project is very young; We hope to present more specific alternatives at the next conference in Spain, and possibly a finalized proposal the follwing year at the Gaudí 150 year celebration." What is certain is that any proposed project will be realized in a site other than where Gaudí constructed the Crypt.

And, why carry out a project like this? Emerson and Cheryl have dedicated themselves to architecture and art history/preservation, and during their professional life that have carried out many distinct projects in this field. It will be 30 years ago that they visited Barcelona to live near the works of Gaudí. "We were captivated by the creative energy, and particularly the mystical quality of the Colonia Güell Crypta. Our interest in the mystery and the magic of that simple unfinished project has stayed with us over the years."

Currently, they have under way other projects related to the arts (music, literature, conservation, etc.), but are interested in participating in an international project.

"The idea of building the Colonia Güell's church symbolizes a holistic approach that an teach much about living our lives in a rapidly changing world, and also about possible future directions in architecture."

We are anxious to see how this project evolves, and with that said, we wish you guys the best of luck!

If you wish to contact Emerson and Cheryl, you can do so by email. Their address is:

Gaudí & Barcelona Club

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