Along with the Gaudi aesthetic that has inspired artists, designers, and architects across the globe, it is his design philosophy and methodology that has found resonance in architectural and design discourse and pedagogy. Here are 15 architects who were inspired by Gaudi, and their works:

15 Architects who were inspired by Gaudi, and their works

Antoni Gaudi and his architecture and design philosophy constitutes a world inspired by religion, nature, and the architecture of Catalan modernism. The uniqueness of Gaudi’s work is subject to many architectural references over his years of building practice and research around his native Catalonia. While so much of his work including the La Pedrera and La Sagrada Familia is considered unique unto themselves they are also regarded as being a high point in the movement called Modernisme in Catalonia, Spain. His work, in turn, inspired several of his contemporaries who were part of this movement and the generations that followed him who have continued his legacy in finding a unique expression of design and architecture within Spain and beyond. Most famously is the continuation of the construction of the still unfinished Basilica of Sagrada Familia.

Along with the Gaudi aesthetic that has inspired artists, designers, and architects across the globe, it is his design philosophy and methodology that has found resonance in architectural and design discourse and pedagogy. Here are 15 architects who were inspired by Gaudi, and their works: 

1.Álvaro Siza

Portuguese Pritzker laureate Álvaro Siza is said to have started architecture school after being inspired by Gaudi’s work on a trip to Barcelona. His relation to Gaudi is not one of shared aesthetics but shared values and a shared birthdate. Siza’s extensive work does not directly reference Gaudi’s architecture but draws on architectural principles established by Gaudi: drawing from nature, astute detailing, and planning a space from within. One can notice parallels between the planning of Siza’s Bonjour Tristesse housing and Casa Mila by Gaudi and the choreography of light at the Santa Maria Church de Canvases and La Sagrada Familia.

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2.Salvador Valeri i Pupurull

As part of the Catalan Modernist architects and designers, Pupurull was a contemporary of Gaudi’s and drew a lot of inspiration from his trailblazing architecture. His work is known for the undulating façades, following the criteria common to Art Nouveau, complete with exuberant sculptural decoration with vegetal references much like Gaudi and extensive use of ceramics in construction. Casa Comalat, Ciclop Factory, and Llaudet House are some of his most notable buildings.

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3.Lluís Parellada Muncunill

Muncunill was one of the most important municipal architects at the turn of the last century while being involved in the Modernisme català movement along with Antoni Gaudi. Designing numerous buildings of various types, including public, religious, industrial and residential around the town of Terrassa, Municunill was constantly referencing a lot of Gaudi’s work in his Masia Freixa using catenary arches, in the town hall with the iron detailing and the

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4.Toyo Ito

Japanese architect Toyo Ito was tasked with the renovation of a building on the Passeig de Gracia in Barcelona called the Suites Apartment facing Gaudi’s last residential commission, the iconic La Pedrera. The architect rose to the challenge by striking the perfect balance between inspiration and creation by designing an edifice of waves in steel that seem to mirror the language of curves seen in the Pedrera. For another project in Barcelona designed by Ito in collaboration with b720, the Torres Porta Fira, Gaudi’s affinity for curves can be seen manifested in a contemporary frame.

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5.J. Mayer Architects

When Juergen Mayer Architects released the images for JOH3 apartments, obvious comparisons were made to Gaudi’s Casa Mila. The undulating qualities of the facade and a sense of play with form and structure seen in other works of the architect like the Metropol Parasol, tram stop station or Pipia Panorama, one can see that Gaudi’s vision of pushing the boundaries of creation and realization seems to have inspired such creativity.

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6.José Antonio Martínez Lapeña and Elías Torres Architects

The architects Lapeña and Torres are responsible for many of the restoration works done on Gaudi buildings in recent decades such as the Parc Guell, Casa Vicens, and Abat-voix. The design philosophy of extensions and visitor pavilions designed for these complexes was specific to a Gaudi aesthetic but their work speaks to a larger understanding and respect towards Gaudi’s philosophy. Projects such as Suganuma Gassho Village Visitor Centre, La Savina houses, and their tiling designs are examples of their learnings from Gaudi manifested in new structures.

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7.David Garcia

Barcelona based architect David Garcia collaborated with José Antonio Martínez Lapeña and Elías Torres to restore Gaudi’s first major commission Casa Vicens into a museum. Studying his work, especially ‘foundation’, one can see direct and indirect influences drawn from Gaudi. Heading a collaborative team of students, he designed a low-cost educational facility in Senegal that draws on the Catalan vaulting system often employed by Gaudi.

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8.Octavio Mendoza

In his own words, Mendoza describes himself as an architect of the earth — using the craft of pottery to inform spatial environments much like how Gaudi used craftsmanship to inform his architecture. In the Terracotta house designed by Octavio, one can spot several references to Gaudi’s sculptural sensibilities and attention to the crafts.

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9.GilBartolomé Architects

While designing the house on a cliff as it is called, on a slope of 42 degrees, the architect team of Gilbartolome echoed the engineering ingenuity and aesthetic of Gaudi in an undulating roof of the concrete cast as a shell of amorphous morphology with a fin-like cladding similar to Gaudi Esque roofs of the Casa Batllo.

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10.Holst Architecture

The US-based Holst architecture took inspiration from Gaudi’s mid-rise elevation designs for a commercial building in Portland, Oregon. The complex is organized around a courtyard and the curvaceous volumes intend to convey a sense of movement and activity.

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  1. Carlo Ratti

Italian architect and researcher Carlo Ratti developed an installation for the Milan Design Week in 2019 called the Circular Garden using mycelium, a fibrous undergrowth in fungi. The catenary arches and landscaping as part of the design was reminiscent of Gaudi’s work and pushing the boundaries of natural materials and architectural realizations.

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12.Dang Viet Nga

The work of Vietnamese architect and artist Dang Viet Nga sees a unique take on the whimsical side of the world, much like Gaudi in his interesting take on natural forms. Nga’s aptly named Crazy house takes inspiration from works like the Casa Mila and Casa Batllo for its curvaceous spatiality, rhetorical caricature details, and overall aesthetic.

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13.Leon Geneva

In Tel Aviv on an unassuming street, one can find Leon Geneva’s thoroughly original structure that seems to have been plucked from the Catalan modernist period in present-day Israel. The façade has a cascade of curvaceous columns and slabs carved like a sand sculpture similar to the façade of Gaudì’s Casa Milà.

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14.Marc Fornes

Marc Fornes heads an interdisciplinary practice of computational design and digital fabrication in New York. His office, THEVERYMANY is responsible for structures like the Chrysalis amphitheater, Zephyr Pavilion, Minima/Maxima, and Pillars of Dreams Pavilion that speak of a morphological principle inspired by Gaudí’s work: biomimicry, sound structural integrity, and visual storytelling.

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15.Von Jour Caux

Architect and artist Von Jour Caux has been called the Japanese Gaudi for his similar shaping logic and expressiveness, although his work is primarily inspired by esoteric Buddhism and animism. Unlike Gaudi, the craftsmanship in Caux’s work is independent, making the work truly a part of the Art Complex movement.

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Author

Ekam Singh Sahni is an architect with a penchant for writing and finding a sense of feeling in every human activity. He thinks of design as a primary attribute of human existence: from moving a chair in one's room to building an island in the middle of nowhere.

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