he spent much of his time walking and observing animals, plants
and forms in nature. Later, Gaudi attended the Escola Pia
in Reus. Here, he achieved very good grades in geometry,
poetry and Greek. Also, his religious nature probably came
from his schooling with the Escolapius Fathers. At this
school, he came to recognize the “value of the divine history
of the salvation of man through Christ incarnate, given to the
world be the Virgin Mary.” Then, later in his life as he
worked on the Sagrada Familia, he incorporated many of these
beliefs into the architecture.
Gaudi moved to Barcelona in 1873 and began his architectural
education at the Provincial School of Architecture. Although he
did not have superior grades, he earned “excellent” marks in
the courses of Trial drawings and Projects. His drawings
in these two courses was seen as the work of an insane man or a
genius. Forever after, the descriptions of “insane”
and “genius” were used to describe Gaudi. In February
of 1878, Antonio Gaudi finished his architectural schooling and
finally attained the title of Architect.
As an architect, Antonio Gaudi was influenced by many things.
He found inspiration for his work within medieval books, in
gothic-style art, and from organic shapes in nature. For
Gaudi these subjects contributed to the development of his own
architectural style. Also, Gaudi visited and studied
monuments such as Roussillon, Mallorca, Montserrat, Toulouse,
and the peals of the Pyrenees. His personal love and interest in
music also contributed to his style. In addition, Gaudi gained
further influence from the writings of an Englishman by the name
of John Ruskin. Ruskin conveyed to Gaudi his belief that
“ornament [is] the origin of architecture.”
Furthermore, writings about architecture contributed to Gaudi’s
style. Specifically, a book on medieval French
architecture by Viollet-le-Duc was of great influence to Gaudi.
Lastly, in order to fund his architectural education, Gaudi
assisted various builders in Barcelona; his projects with these
builders only amplified his education in architecture.
Antonio Gaudi’s first major project as a professional
architect was worker’s housing in the Coopertiva Mataronese
factory. This project was presented at the Paris World
Fair in 1878 and was seen as the beginning of his fame.
Thereafter, he worked with the architect Martorell on projects
such as the Gilbert pharmacy in Barcelona and the Sagrada
Familia. However, Gaudi took control over the building of
the Sagrada Familia in 1883. He ended up spending 43 years
of his life working on this project. In addition to the
Sagrada Familia, a few of Gaudi’s other large projects were
the Palau Guell and the Palacio de Astorga. He also began
the Park Guell, which was initially built as a garden-city.
Additionally, Gaudi worked on many other projects throughout
Barcelona. Two of his more famous projects, Casa Batllo
and La Pedrera are located on the Passeig de Gracia. Both
of these projects had be introduced to Gaudi by Pere Mila, a
member of the Spanish Parliament.
Before his death on June 10, 1926, Gaudi attained additional
fame in 1910, when he was requested to build a New York Hotel.
Gaudi received further recognition because photographs and plans
of his lifetime achievements were occasionally displayed in
architectural shows and exhibitions. However, most
important to Antonio Gaudi was his 43 years of work on the
Sagrada Familia. He continued to work on its construction
until the day of his death.