The report is courtesy of the Sagrada Familia Temple Building Committee.
Report of the works
We continued the restoration of the big windows of the stairways with access to the East Crypt. The substitution of the partition walls that provisionally close the two extreme big windows of the deambulatory is being prepared, in order to place the panes that will finish them with the two small access stairways to the great presbytery of the Temple. Also the final works on the Sacristy will be completed, so when it's ready one can pass through to the elevator and the superior access.
The vaults of the three central apse chapels have finally been concreted and the works on the four others are progressing; the cross ribs of two of the vaults are already finished. The works on the closing windows have started, the columns and part of the vaults are raised up until 30 m, in order to adjust the first part and have it well placed before continuing the other parts without mistakes. As the capitals of the columns of Saint Peter and Saint Paul are placed, the superior frames and the capitals of the eight columns supporting the hyperbolic vault of the Virgin spire are installed.
The East stairways are progressing and will soon reach the column which supports the second part. The West stairways are already connected with the white voices chancel of the apse and are moving upward provisionally supported by the scaffoldings in order to overcome the problems produced by the settlements of the closing walls next to the Birth.
It's necessary to act very cautiously in this place.
The walls of the patriarchs and prophets are being raised over the basalt cornice while the study of computer execution of the columns of the superior fronton goes on in the workshop of stonemason Barbany d'Òrrius. It is a difficult challenge but little by little it will resolve the technology of a robot carving granite according to the complicated Gaudinian shapes of the eight columns, all very different though generated by the same geometric law.
The bronze sculpture of the Ascension is finished and the stainless steel supporting elements are incorporated. Before starting to guilt, one preferred to put the enormous 5 m figure on its place in order to avoid possible adjustment problems once it will be definitely placed at an altitude of 60 m.
Transept and Crossbeam
When the new crane was collocated next to the Birth in the beginning of June, it became possible to provide this working zone all kind of necessary materials. The works are being executed at an altitude between 45 and 60 m since last month of September. The hyperboloids of the second east part are situated at the height of the collar and the prefabricated pieces of the big windows are being placed in order to close the vaults and to be able to build the two missing parts of the transept soon.
The railing of the triforium, where the organs will be situated at an altitude of 45 meters, is already progressing from side to side of the Saint Mathew dome and the half of the one of Saint Johannes. The concrete of the first one already reaches 45 m. The work platforms have been extended so as to provide the workers with a more secure environment and to lift the railings of the vaults of the evangelists Marcos y Lucas. The ones that will make it possible to raise the vaults of the crossbeam and the apse are also being built, at an altitude of 55 m.
The superior window, with the rose window of the Birth transept made by Vila-Grau, was installed at the end of July 2004.
The special panes that filter the closing light of the cloister openings as well as the stone pavement with the general installation that enlightens it, have also been placed. The new furniture of the souvenir shop as well as the door that separates the Merced from the Passion Portal, are being prepared. The ramp providing access from the corner of the streets Mallorca and Cerdeña has been opened to the visitors. On the other side the original shed has been restored, where the school boys used to learn in the open air according to the active pedagogy at the Temple's parish schools. The flagstones of the covering of the Merced cloister are also being produced and the elements that are needed to lift the parallels initiated from the Rosary are being prepared. In the patio between the Merced Cloister and the lateral nave, a work shop has been installed for sculptor Sotoo.
Vaults and Covering of the central nave
There are already four pinnacles of the central nave crowning the Eucharistic symbols with white and black racemes, and the first one of the corn and the bread.
The sculptor Sotoo has a 4 years contract to continue the realisation of about thirty symbols such as these as well as the gargoyles of the evangelists Marcus and Lucas.
The Jube triforium has been completely concreted, at a height of about 9 meters according to the plan of the Temple. The fore part is being raised with the auxiliary winding stairs at every extreme. The works of the stairways vaults with access to the bell towers and the passes to the two foreseen elevators have been started. The two fifth big windows are being produced with the apple and the pear sculptures elaborated by Sotoo.
Mold makers atelier
The categorisation of Gaudí's original fragments of the scale models or models made to scale is going on. The bigger scale models which were stored are also being restored. They will make it possible to leave the originals pieces for exhibitions without that their places in our museum are unoccupied.
The superior part of the apse stairways, the domes of the evangelists as well as the superior zone of the crossbeam and the Glory Façade are thoroughly being studied. It is also important to finish the models of the railings of the deambulatorio, situated at an altitude of 30 m.
We would like to mention the small course at the UPC intended for our architects as well as for other interested people. Although limited to 15 participants, it offers a new computer program which will give new possibilities to approach the difficult challenge of finishing the Temple works.
Next semester, some experts at the company GEDAS and in a second phase, professor Mark Burry of the RMIT, will teach the current and future collaborators the technical office will need to continue investigating and opening new technologies in order to improve and accelerate the design and construction process of the Temple.
The collaboration agreement with the Polytechnic University of Barcelona has been signed in order to dispose of a very precise new topographic raising technology about the situation of the elements built by Gaudí more than a century ago, in order to know and resolve the problems derived from the settlements and displacements to the higher parts which are very difficult to access.
The computer models designed for executing the scale models 1:25 of the irregular deambulatorio vaults are being made. The union elements between the crossbeam windows and the apse are being studied, and so are the columns supporting the dome of the covering of the apse stairways, the inferior part of the evangelist tower with the access stairways to the central tower -the place where the 30 m vaults and Glory Façade come together- and the 45 m vaults of the apse and the junction between the windows frontons in the corners of the evangelists and the Birth towers. The drawings and the carvings of the coverings of the Passion transept are also being studied and the terrace coverings of the two corresponding lateral naves are being prepared.
The study of the superior part of the fronton of the Passion portal goes on in order to overcome the problems which soon will rise when the columns and the superior closure will be placed.
The near future
This report is being written on the day of Saint Lucas, patron of the artists and the Circle Gaudí was a member of. Therefore its most known image is the one on which he attends the Corpus procession in 1924, accompanied by the entity's flag and other co-members. So it is difficult to precise what will happen before the June site report.
It is to expect that the image of Jesus' ascension crowns the Passion Façade with the correct vision that Josep Maria Subirachs offers about the Saviour saying goodbye to his pupils who watch him ascending to heaven.
The patriarchs' wall will be raised in the superior part of the cornice closing the Passion scenes, and the three columns that support the terminal fronton with the hexagonal supporting elements of the covering will be seen. So it will be possible to check, before the definitive execution in stone, that the original drawing of Gaudí is faithfully followed. There will also be shown an interior part of the East transept with the stained glass windows and the lightening Gaudí projected with some metallic hyperboloid streetlamps that show the symbols of Jesus, Maria and Joseph, while the light glides and spreads out through the naves. It will be an advance of the whole of the future Temple however not in its entire extension.
On the Glory Façade, the Jube will be seen free of the scaffoldings and the missing chancels, already very progressed, will be able to be contemplated as well as the already started windows of the extremes facilitating the passage to the visitors from the Mayor Portal in the future.
In the apse we expect the closing windows of the supporting deambulatorio of the 30 m vaults to be raised, though the most difficult vaults will be missing, the ones that are situated between the apse stairways and the beginning of the evangelists' domes.
In the crossbeam, the railings of the 45 m triforium with its corresponding hyperboloids will surround the space to the great union parabola of the apse. One will start lifting the supporting rafters of the stairways between 45 and 65 m of the evangelists Mathew and Johannes. The first floor of the transept coverings will also be completed at the level of the bases of the three cranes that are used for building this central part of the Temple.
The terminals of the windows of the central nave central will let us see the exterior more and more and will show a vision of the Temple finished at an altitude of 65 m from the street Mallorca.