157 Facts About Antonio Gaudi


Antoni Antonio Gaudi i Cornet was a Catalan architect from Spain known as the greatest exponent of Catalan Modernism.

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Antonio Gaudi's work was influenced by his passions in life: architecture, nature, and religion.

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Antonio Gaudi considered every detail of his creations and integrated into his architecture such crafts as ceramics, stained glass, wrought ironwork forging and carpentry.

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Antonio Gaudi introduced new techniques in the treatment of materials, such as trencadis which used waste ceramic pieces.

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Under the influence of neo-Gothic art and Oriental techniques, Antonio Gaudi became part of the Modernista movement which was reaching its peak in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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Antonio Gaudi's work transcended mainstream Modernisme, culminating in an organic style inspired by natural forms.

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Antonio Gaudi rarely drew detailed plans of his works, instead preferring to create them as three-dimensional scale models and moulding the details as he conceived them.

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Antonio Gaudi's work enjoys global popularity and continuing admiration and study by architects.

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Antoni Antonio Gaudi was born on 25 June 1852 in Riudoms or Reus, to the coppersmith Francesc Antonio Gaudi i Serra and Antonia Cornet i Bertran .

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Antonio Gaudi was the youngest of five children, of whom three survived to adulthood: Rosa, Francesc and Antoni.

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Antonio Gaudi's family originated in the Auvergne region in southern France.

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Antonio Gaudi's exact birthplace is unknown because no supporting documents have been found, leading to a controversy about whether he was born in Reus or Riudoms, two neighbouring municipalities of the Baix Camp district.

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Antonio Gaudi stated on various occasions that he was born in Riudoms, his paternal family's village.

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Antonio Gaudi was baptised in the church of Sant Pere Apostol in Reus the day after his birth under the name "Antoni Placid Guillem Antonio Gaudi i Cornet".

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Antonio Gaudi had a deep appreciation for his native land and great pride in his Mediterranean heritage for his art.

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Antonio Gaudi believed Mediterranean people to be endowed with creativity, originality and an innate sense for art and design.

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Antonio Gaudi attended a nursery school run by Francesc Berenguer, whose son, called Francesc, was later one of Antonio Gaudi's main assistants.

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Antonio Gaudi enrolled in the Piarists school in Reus where he displayed his artistic talents via drawings for a seminar called El Arlequin .

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Between 1875 and 1878, Antonio Gaudi completed his compulsory military service in the infantry regiment in Barcelona as a Military Administrator.

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In 1876, Antonio Gaudi's mother died at the age of 57, as did his 25-year-old brother Francesc, who had just graduated as a physician.

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Antonio Gaudi's grades were average and he occasionally failed courses.

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Antonio Gaudi gained wider recognition for his first important commission, the Casa Vicens, and subsequently received more significant proposals.

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At the Paris World's Fair of 1878 Antonio Gaudi displayed a showcase he had produced for the glove manufacturer Comella.

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Antonio Gaudi became a friend of the marquis of Comillas, the father-in-law of Count Guell, for whom he designed "El Capricho" in Comillas.

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In 1883 Antonio Gaudi was put in charge of the recently initiated project to build a Barcelona church called Basilica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia .

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Antonio Gaudi completely changed the initial design and imbued it with his own distinctive style.

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Antonio Gaudi's team consisted of professionals from all fields of construction.

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In 1885, Antonio Gaudi moved to rural Sant Feliu de Codines to escape the cholera epidemic that was ravaging Barcelona.

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Antonio Gaudi lived in Francesc Ullar's house, for whom he designed a dinner table as a sign of his gratitude.

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In 1899 Antonio Gaudi joined the Cercle Artistic de Sant Lluc, a Catholic artistic society founded in 1893 by the bishop Josep Torras i Bages and the brothers Josep and Joan Llimona.

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Antonio Gaudi joined the Lliga Espiritual de la Mare de Deu de Montserrat, another Catholic Catalan organisation.

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Antonio Gaudi lived in the house until 1925, several months before his death, when he began residing inside the workshop of the Sagrada Familia.

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Antonio Gaudi remained in his house in Guell Park during this turbulent period.

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The anticlerical atmosphere and attacks on churches and convents caused Antonio Gaudi to worry for the safety of the Sagrada Familia, but the building escaped damage.

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Antonio Gaudi participated on the invitation of count Guell, displaying a series of pictures, plans and plaster scale models of several of his works.

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Antonio Gaudi dedicated the last years of his life entirely to the "Cathedral of the Poor", as it was commonly known, for which he took alms in order to continue.

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Antonio Gaudi devoted his life entirely to his profession, remaining single.

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Antonio Gaudi is known to have been attracted to only one woman—Josefa Moreu, teacher at the Mataro Cooperative, in 1884—but this was not reciprocated.

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Thereafter Antonio Gaudi took refuge in the profound spiritual peace his Catholic faith offered him.

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Antonio Gaudi is often depicted as unsociable and unpleasant, a man of gruff reactions and arrogant gestures.

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The older Antonio Gaudi ate frugally, dressed in old, worn-out suits, and neglected his appearance to the extent that sometimes he was taken for a beggar, such as after the accident that caused his death.

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Antonio Gaudi left hardly any written documents, apart from technical reports of his works required by official authorities, some letters to friends and a few journal articles.

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The only written document Antonio Gaudi left is known as the Manuscrito de Reus, a kind of student diary in which he collected diverse impressions of architecture and decorating, putting forward his ideas on the subject.

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Antonio Gaudi was a committed Catalan nationalist and proponent of Catalan culture but was reluctant to become politically active to campaign for its autonomy.

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Antonio Gaudi has a deep attachment to his native Catalan language.

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When King of Spain Alfonso XIII visited the Sagrada Familia, Antonio Gaudi declined to speak in Spanish and only spoke to him in Catalan.

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Antonio Gaudi spoke Catalan in public, despite it being declared illegal by the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, which severely tried to suppress Catalan culture.

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Antonio Gaudi was arrested by the Civil Guard as he was headed to the church of Sant Just i Sant Pastor to attend a mass in memory of the Catalonian patriots.

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Antonio Gaudi incorporated elements of Catalan culture and identity in his works.

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Antonio Gaudi inserted numerous motifs from Catalan culture in the park, such as a large mosaic with the Catalan flag or the representations of dragons, which were seen as Catalan symbols during the Renaixenca because of their connection to the Catalan patron saint George.

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Antonio Gaudi designed a project to crown El Cavall Bernat with a viewpoint in the shape of a royal crown and a 20 meters high Catalan coat of arms.

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Antonio Gaudi joined several Catalan associations, such as Cercle Artistic de Sant Lluc, Lliga Espiritual de la Mare de Deu de Montserrat, Associacio Catalanista d'Excursions Cientifiques.

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On 7 June 1926, Antonio Gaudi was taking his daily walk to the Sant Felip Neri church for his habitual prayer and confession.

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Antonio Gaudi died on 10 June 1926 at the age of 73 and was buried two days later.

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Early on, Antonio Gaudi was inspired by oriental arts through the study of the historicist architectural theoreticians, such as Walter Pater, John Ruskin and William Morris.

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Antonio Gaudi studied the book Plans, elevations, sections and details of the Alhambra by Owen Jones, which he borrowed from the School's library.

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Antonio Gaudi took various structural and ornamental solutions from Nasrid and Mudejar art, which he used with variations and stylistic freedom in his works.

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Notably, Antonio Gaudi observed of Islamic art its spatial uncertainty, its concept of structures with limitless space; its feeling of sequence, fragmented with holes and partitions, which create a divide without disrupting the feeling of open space by enclosing it with barriers.

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Nonetheless, for Antonio Gaudi the Gothic style was "imperfect", because despite the effectiveness of some of its structural solutions it was an art that had yet to be "perfected".

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Antonio Gaudi is usually considered the great master of Catalan Modernism, but his works go beyond any one style or classification.

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Antonio Gaudi studied organic and anarchic geometric forms of nature thoroughly, searching for a way to give expression to these forms in architecture.

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Antonio Gaudi found abundant examples of them in nature, for instance in rushes, reeds and bones; he used to say that there is no better structure than the trunk of a tree or a human skeleton.

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Antonio Gaudi used to equate the helicoid form to movement and the hyperboloid to light.

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Antonio Gaudi had studied geometry thoroughly when he was young, studying numerous articles about engineering, a field that praised the virtues of the catenary curve as a mechanical element, one which at that time was used only in the construction of suspension bridges.

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Antonio Gaudi was the first to use this element in common architecture.

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Catenary arches in works like the Casa Mila, the Teresian College, the crypt of the Colonia Guell and the Sagrada Familia allowed Antonio Gaudi to add an element of great strength to his structures, given that the catenary distributes the weight it regularly carries evenly, being affected only by self-canceling tangential forces.

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Antonio Gaudi evolved from plane to spatial geometry, to ruled geometry.

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Antonio Gaudi frequently used brick laid with mortar in successive layers, as in the traditional Catalan vault, using the brick laid flat instead of on its side.

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Antonio Gaudi conceived the interior of the church as if it were a forest, with a set of tree-like columns divided into various branches to support a structure of intertwined hyperboloid vaults.

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Antonio Gaudi inclined the columns so they could better resist the perpendicular pressure on their section.

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Antonio Gaudi gave them a double-turn helicoidal shape, as in the branches and trunks of trees.

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Antonio Gaudi thus achieved a rational, structured and perfectly logical solution, creating at the same time a new architectural style that was original, simple, practical and aesthetic.

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Antonio Gaudi complemented this organic vision of architecture with a unique spatial vision that allowed him to conceive his designs in three dimensions, unlike the flat design of traditional architecture.

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Antonio Gaudi used to say that he had acquired this spatial sense as a boy by looking at the drawings his father made of the boilers and stills he produced.

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Antonio Gaudi then painted over these photographs with gouache or pastel.

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Antonio Gaudi passed through the historicism and eclecticism of his generation without connecting with other architectural movements of the 20th century that, with their rationalist postulates, derived from the Bauhaus school, and represented an antithetical evolution to that initiated by Antonio Gaudi, given that it later reflected the disdain and the initial lack of comprehension of the work of the modernista architect.

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Nonetheless, Antonio Gaudi left a deep mark on 20th-century architecture: masters like Le Corbusier declared themselves admirers, and the works of other architects like Pier Luigi Nervi, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Oscar Niemeyer, Felix Candela, Eduardo Torroja and Santiago Calatrava were inspired by Antonio Gaudi.

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Antonio Gaudi absorbed new technological developments, integrating into his technique the use of iron and reinforced concrete in construction.

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Antonio Gaudi took a broad view of architecture as a multifunctional design, in which every single detail in an arrangement has to be harmoniously made and well-proportioned.

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Antonio Gaudi was an innovator in the realm of craftsmanship, conceiving new technical and decorative solutions with his materials, for example his way of designing ceramic mosaics made of waste pieces in original and imaginative combinations.

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Antonio Gaudi then made plaster casts of the figures, both of people and animals .

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Antonio Gaudi modified the proportions of these casts to obtain the figure's desired appearance, depending on its place in the church .

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Antonio Gaudi aimed to place his works in the most appropriate natural and architectural surroundings by studying the location of his constructions thoroughly and trying to naturally integrate them into those surroundings.

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Equally, Antonio Gaudi stood out as interior decorator, decorating most of his buildings personally, from the furnishings to the smallest details.

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Antonio Gaudi achieved this with different elements such as skylights, windows, shutters and blinds; a notable case is the gradation of colour used in the atrium of the Casa Batllo to achieve uniform distribution of light throughout the interior.

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Antonio Gaudi tended to build south-facing houses to maximise sunlight.

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Antonio Gaudi's work is normally classed as modernista, and it belongs to this movement because of its eagerness to renovate without breaking with tradition, its quest for modernity, the ornamental sense applied to works, and the multidisciplinary character of its undertakings, where craftsmanship plays a central role.

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Antoni Antonio Gaudi started his professional career while still at university.

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Antonio Gaudi worked for Francisco de Paula del Villar on the apse of the Montserrat monastery, designing the niche for the image of the Black Virgin of Montserrat in 1876.

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Antonio Gaudi carried out a project for Martorell for the competition for a new facade for Barcelona cathedral, which was never accepted.

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Antonio Gaudi received the request from the city council of Barcelona in February 1878, when he had graduated but not yet received his degree, which was sent from Madrid on 15 March of the same year.

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Antonio Gaudi conceived a structure with iron pillars and marble and glass slabs, crowned by a large iron and glass roof, with a gas illumination system.

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Antonio Gaudi used ceramic tile decoration for the first time in the services building.

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Antonio Gaudi laid out the site taking account of solar orientation, another signature of his works, and included landscaped areas.

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Antonio Gaudi even designed the Cooperative's banner, with the figure of a bee, symbol of industriousness.

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In May 1878 Antonio Gaudi designed a display cabinet for the Esteban Comella glove factory, which was exhibited in the Spanish pavilion at the Paris World Exhibition that year.

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Antonio Gaudi designed a chair, a bench and a prayer stool: the chair was upholstered with velvet, finished with two eagles and the Marquis's coat of arms; the bench stands out with the motif of a dragon, designed by Llorenc Matamala; the prayer stool is decorated with plants.

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Also in 1878 he drew up the plans for a theatre in the former town of Sant Gervasi de Cassoles ; Antonio Gaudi did not take part in the construction of the theatre, which no longer exists.

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Antonio Gaudi was given the task of decorating the church of the Colegio de Jesus-Maria in Tarragona : he created the altar in white Italian marble, and its front part, or antependium, with four columns bearing medallions of polychrome alabaster, with figures of angels; the ostensory with gilt wood, the work of Eudald Punti, decorated with rosaries, angels, tetramorph symbols and the dove of the Holy Ghost; and the choir stalls, which were destroyed in 1936.

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Antonio Gaudi designed a small pavilion in the shape of a Hindu turban, covered in mosaics and decorated with an abundance of small bells which jingled constantly.

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Antonio Gaudi's collaboration with Martorell was a determining factor in Antonio Gaudi's recommendation for the Sagrada Familia.

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Antonio Gaudi devoted the rest of his life to the construction of the church, which was to be the synthesis of all of his architectural discoveries.

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Antonio Gaudi used ceramic tile decoration abundantly, as well as Moorish arches, columns of exposed brick and pinnacles in the shape of pavilions or domes.

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Antonio Gaudi received a commission to build a small annex to the Palacio de Sobrellano, for the Baron of Comillas, in the Cantabrian town of the same name.

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Antonio Gaudi carried out a second commission from Eusebi Guell between 1884 and 1887, the Guell Pavilions in Pedralbes, now on the outskirts of Barcelona.

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Antonio Gaudi undertook to refurbish the house and construct a wall and porter's lodge.

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In 1885 Antonio Gaudi accepted a commission from Josep Maria Bocabella, promoter of the Sagrada Familia, for an altar in the oratory of the Bocabella family, who had obtained permission from the Pope to have an altar in their home.

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Shortly after, Antonio Gaudi received an important new commission from Guell: the construction of his family house, in the Carrer Nou de la Rambla in Barcelona.

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Antonio Gaudi designed a monumental entrance with a magnificent parabolic arch above iron gates, decorated with the Catalan coat of arms and a helmet with a winged dragon, the work of Joan Onos.

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Antonio Gaudi designed the interior of the palace with a sumptuous Mudejar-style decoration, where the wood and iron coffered ceilings stand out.

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Antonio Gaudi created it in a Granadinian Nazari style, with horseshoe arches and stucco decoration; the building survived until the Passeig Maritim was opened up in 1960.

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Antonio Gaudi studied examples in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Roussillon in depth, as well as Leonese and Castillian buildings during his stays in Leon and Burgos, and became convinced that it was an imperfect style, leaving major structural issues only partly resolved.

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Antonio Gaudi fulfilled the wish of the order that the building should be austere, in keeping with their vows of poverty.

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Antonio Gaudi designed a simple building, using bricks for the exterior and some brick elements for the interior.

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Antonio Gaudi received his next commission from a clergyman who had been a boyhood friend in his native Reus.

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Antonio Gaudi resigned from the project in 1893, at the death of Bishop Grau, due to disagreements with the Chapter, and it was finished in 1915 by Ricardo Garcia Guereta.

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Antonio Gaudi's project was an impressive neo-Gothic style building, which bears his unmistakable modernista imprint.

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In 1892 Antonio Gaudi was commissioned by Claudio Lopez Bru, second Marquis of Comillas, with the Franciscana Catholic Missions for the city of Tangier, in Morocco .

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The project included a church, hospital and school, and Antonio Gaudi conceived a quadrilobulate ground-plan floor structure, with catenary arches, parabolic towers, and hyperboloid windows.

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Antonio Gaudi deeply regretted the project's eventual demise, always keeping his design with him.

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Antonio Gaudi designed it in a neo-Gothic style, respecting the former building as much as possible, and tried as always to integrate the architecture into the natural surroundings.

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Antonio Gaudi's works acquired a great structural richness, with shapes and volumes devoid of rational rigidity or any classic premise.

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Virtually unknown work by Antonio Gaudi is the Casa Clapes, at 125 Carrer Escorial, commissioned by the painter Aleix Clapes, who collaborated on occasion with Antonio Gaudi, such as in decorating the Palau Guell and the Casa Mila.

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Antonio Gaudi took this rejection quite badly, leaving some bitterness towards Reus, possibly the source of his subsequent claim that Riudoms was his place of birth.

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Between 1900 and 1902 Antonio Gaudi worked on the Casa Miralles, commissioned by the industrialist Hermenegild Miralles i Angles; Antonio Gaudi designed only the wall near the gateway, of undulating masonry, with an iron gate topped with the four-armed cross.

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The Park Guell is situated in Barcelona's Carmel district, a rugged area, with steep slopes that Antonio Gaudi negotiated with a system of viaducts integrated into the terrain.

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Antonio Gaudi designed the First Mystery of Glory, which represents the Holy Sepulcher.

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In 1901 Antonio Gaudi decorated the house of Isabel Guell Lopez, Marchioness of Castelldosrius, and daughter of Eusebi Guell.

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The following year Antonio Gaudi took part in the decoration of the Bar Torino, property of Flaminio Mezzalana, located at 18 Passeig de Gracia; Antonio Gaudi designed the ornamentation of el Salon Arabe of that establishment, made with varnished Arabian-style cardboard tiles .

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Project of great interest to Antonio Gaudi was the restoration of the Cathedral of Santa Maria in Palma de Mallorca, commissioned by the city's bishop, Pere Campins i Barcelo.

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Antonio Gaudi abandoned the project in 1914 due to disagreements with the Cathedral chapter.

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Antonio Gaudi kept the rectangular shape of the old building's balconies—with iron railings in the shape of masks—giving the rest of the facade an ascending undulating form.

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Antonio Gaudi faced the facade with ceramic fragments of various colours, which Gaudi obtained from the waste material of the Pelegri glass works.

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Antonio Gaudi designed an interesting structure composed of juxtaposed triangles that would support the bridge's framework, following the style of the viaducts that he made for the Park Guell.

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Antonio Gaudi designed the house around two large, curved courtyards, with a structure of stone, brick and cast-iron columns and steel beams.

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Antonio Gaudi designed an oval church with five aisles, one central aisle and two at either side.

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Antonio Gaudi achieved perfect harmony between structural and ornamental elements, between plastic and aesthetic, between function and form, between container and content, achieving the integration of all arts in one structured, logical work.

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In May 1910 Antonio Gaudi paid a short visit to Vic, where he was tasked to design the lampposts for the city's Placa Major, in commemoration of the first centenary of the birth of Jaume Balmes.

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Antonio Gaudi devised a shield with the lower part in a catenary shape typical of Gaudi.

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Antonio Gaudi divided it into two parts: the lantern of Palau Guell features a dove and a gear-wheel on the right in allusion to the Colonia Guell in Santa Coloma de Cervello, with the phrase ahir pastor .

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From 1915 Antonio Gaudi devoted himself almost exclusively to his magnum opus, the Sagrada Familia, a synthesis of his architectural evolution.

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Antonio Gaudi intended the interior to resemble a forest, with inclined columns like branching trees, helicoidal in form, creating a simple but sturdy structure.

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Antonio Gaudi applied all of his previous experimental findings in this project, from works such as the Park Guell and the crypt of the Colonia Guell, creating a church that is at once structurally perfect, harmonious and aesthetically satisfying.

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Antonio Gaudi used highly symbolic content in the Sagrada Familia, both in architecture and sculpture, dedicating each part of the church to a religious theme.

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Antonio Gaudi made a sketch of the project, which ultimately was not carried out, and made a plaster bust of the bishop, the work of Joan Matamala under the instruction of Gaudi.

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In 1922 Antonio Gaudi was commissioned, by the Franciscan Padre Angelico Aranda, to construct a church dedicated to the Assumption in the Chilean city of Rancagua.

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Antonio Gaudi apologised and said that he was occupied exclusively with the Sagrada Familia, but sent some sketches of the Assumption chapel which he had designed for the apse of the Sagrada Familia, which more or less coincided with what Padre Aranda had asked for.

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Antonio Gaudi suggested an iron structure in the form of a large suspended awning, a solution quite ahead of its time; perhaps for this reason, it put the head engineers off, and they declined Antonio Gaudi's offer.

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Enormous task which Antonio Gaudi faced, not in terms of the number of works, but in terms of their complexity, required the collaboration of a large number of assistants, artists, architects and craftsmen.

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Antonio Gaudi always led the way, but allowed expression of the individual abilities of all of his collaborators.

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Antonio Gaudi's reputation was beginning to recover by the 1950s, when his work was championed not only by Salvador Dali but by architect Josep Lluis Sert.

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In 1952, the centenary year of the architect's birth, the Asociacion de Amigos de Antonio Gaudi was founded with the aim of disseminating and conserving his legacy.

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Antonio Gaudi's work has since gained widespread international appreciation, such as in Japan where notable studies have been published by Dr Hiroya Tanaka, Kenji Imai and Tokutoshi Torii.

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Antonio Gaudi's style have subsequently influenced contemporary architects such as Santiago Calatrava and Norman Foster.

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In 1999, American composer Christopher Rouse wrote the guitar concerto Concert de Antonio Gaudi, which was inspired by Antonio Gaudi's work; it went on to win the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition.

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In 2008 the Antonio Gaudi Awards were launched in his honour, organised by the Catalan Film Academy to award the best Catalan films of the year.

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Several of Antonio Gaudi's works have been granted World Heritage status by UNESCO: in 1984 the Park Guell, the Palau Guell and the Casa Mila; and in 2005 the Nativity facade, the crypt and the apse of the Sagrada Familia, the Casa Vicens and the Casa Batllo in Barcelona, together with the crypt of the Colonia Guell in Santa Coloma de Cervello.

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