Deemed as a creative genius, a pioneer of Art Nouveau architecture style and Catalan modernism, Antoni Gaudi is known for his distinctive style inspired by nature. Seven of his projects in Barcelona have been granted the world heritage status by UNESCO, acknowledging his contribution to the 20th-century modernism. His study of nature leads to the usage of various geometric forms in numerous projects carried out by him.
His style surpassed the influences of neo-gothic and oriental architecture evident in his early works and forayed into an organic style, unique to his design ideology. Here are 15 pioneering and groundbreaking projects by Gaudi- The architect of Barcelona.
1. Sagrada Familia
Ambitious and monumental in its scope, Sagrada Familia was Antoni Gaudi’s most aspirational project and also the most well-known. Designed as a Roman Catholic basilica, it combines Gothic and art nouveau elements. Its original plan consists of 18 spires, of which 10 are already constructed. It’s three facades namely- nativity, passion and glory façade consists of biblical sculptural decoration. Its interiors are also grandiose, comprising of hyperboloid vaults and geometric elements.
2. Casa Mila
Also known as “the stone quarry” due to its rough-hewn appearance, Casa Mila was designed as a private residence by Antoni Gaudi. It consists of an undulating stone façade, free plan floor, wrought-iron balconies, and catenary arches. Its interior and self-supporting stone façade lend it a biomorphic appearance.
3. Casa Batllo
Located in the center of Barcelona, Casa Batllo is considered one of the masterpieces by Antoni Gaudi. It is a remodel of a private residence and is also known as the house of bones because of the visceral and skeletal organic quality of its façade. It is decorated with a colorful mosaic made of broken ceramic tiles. Its roof is arched and resembles the back of a dragon.
4. El Capricho
El Capricho is a villa designed by Antoni Gaudi in Spain. It was one of Gaudi’s early works and reflects the influence of oriental architecture which can be seen in its tower resembling a minaret. The façade is made in brick and adorned with ceramics rows.
5. Casa Vicens
Casa Vicens represents a new chapter in the history of Catalan architecture as well as the beginning of a successful career for Antoni Gaudi. It is considered one of the first buildings of Art Nouveau and was the first house designed by Gaudi. Abstract and vibrant ornamentation made in brick can be seen on its façade.
6. Episcopal Palace of Astorga
Designed in the Catalan modernism style, The Episcopal Palace is built entirely in gray granite. It is made in a neo-medieval architecture style and consists of elements typical to Antoni Gaudi’s style like- arches on the entrance with buttresses and chimneys integrated with side facades. The façade has four cylindrical towers and is surrounded by a ditch.
7. Guell Pavilions
Güell Pavilions is a complex of buildings in the neighborhood of Barcelona, by Gaudi. The Pavilions consist of a stable, lunging ring and gatehouses comprising of elements typical to Gaudi’s style like- Catenary arch, hyperboloid vaults, and chimneys decorated with ceramic. Gaudi also designed the estate’s garden where he built two fountains and a pergola.
8. Palau Guell
Palau Guell is a mansion, which is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage under “Works of Antoni Gaudi”. The home is centered around the main room used for entertaining high society guests. The front iron gates have intricate patterns of forged ironwork resembling seaweed. The entrance also consists of a parabolic arch.
9. Casa Botines
Casa Botines was designed as a residential building but now serves as a bank. The building has a neo-gothic architecture and consists of 4 floors, a basement, and an attic. Antoni Gaudi chose an inclined roof and placed towers in the corners to reinforce the project’s neo-Gothic feel.
10. Casa Calvet
Casa Calvet is a building that serves as both, commercial property and a residence. Its symmetry, balance and orderly rhythm are unusual for Antoni Gaudi’s works, although it does comprise of baroque and modernist elements. Columns flanking the entrance are in the form of stacked bobbins and the entrance consists of sculptural decorations.
Constructed mainly with stone and brick, Bellesguard is a modernist manor house designed by Gaudi in 1900. Its exterior façade is neo-gothic and consists of straight lines, which are rarely seen in Gaudi’s architecture. The iconic tower, Torre Bellesguard, juts out from a corner of a base, adding to the vertical alignment of the structure.
12. Park Guell
Park Guell is a public park system composed of gardens. Here, Antoni Gaudi used plentifully of organic shapes and geometric forms inspired by nature. In the design of Park Güell, Gaudí unleashed all his creative genius and put to practice much of his innovative structural solutions that would become the symbol of his organic style.
13. Artigas Gardens
Artigas Gardens is a park in Barcelona. As with many of his works, Gaudí filled the gardens with arches and Catholic symbols. Gaudí designed the Artigas Gardens fully integrated with the surrounding natural environment. He also built an artificial grotto, resembling the one in Park Guell.
14. Church of Colonia Guell
It is an unfinished work of Gaudi and was built as a place of worship. The plan for the building consisted of constructing two naves, an upper and a lower, two towers, and one forty-meter high central dome.
15. Bodegas Guell
Bodegas Güell is an architectural complex comprising of a winery and associated buildings. The winery has a triangular frontal profile, with almost vertical roofs and steep sloping stone slabs, finished off with sets of chimneys.