The Sagrada Família was designed by Antoni Gaudí and is located in Barcelona.
The building’s full name is Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (Basilica and Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family). Construction began in 1882 and was under the supervision of architect Francisco Paula de Villar. However Francisco stepped down in 1883 and Antoni Gaudí was established as the chief architect of the construction of the basilica. Gaudí merged the styling of the pre-existing Gothic cathedral with the Art Nouveau style and worked on its construction for forty years until his death in 1926. Construction is still under way at the basilica, under the supervision of several architects, and is expected to be completed in 2026, the 100 year anniversary of Gaudí’s death. However, less than half of what currently stands is part of Gaudí’s original design. Once complete the 170 meter high basilica will be the tallest religious building in Europe.
The building has sparked great controversy in the art world. Major artists and architects such as Dali, le Corbusier, Louis Sullivan and Walter Gropius have all commented on the beauty and spirit of Sagrada Família. While the likes of George Orwell commented on the hideous nature of the building. Beyond the controversial appeared of the architecture lies a rich and complex mathematical bases.
The basilica once complete will have eighteen spires (only eight of which have been constructed to date). There are currently two complete façades: the Passion façade (West) and the Nativity façade (East). There is a third façade yet to be completed on the south side of the building: the Glory façade. The building takes of the shape of a Latin cross with a 45 meter high central nave and 30 meter high side aisles. These aisle are decorated with multicolour stained glass windows which illuminate the interior with an intense spectrum of colour and light.
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There is no estimated cost for the construction of the building as it is close to spanning a century. The current cost for the construction and maintenance of the building is €25 million per annum. This cost is covered by private donors and the millions of visitors the basilica receives each year.