The report is courtesy of the Sagrada Familia Temple Building
Three of the vaults have already been closed and soon the superior big windows and columns supporting the 30 meters vaults will be lifted up thanks to the reinforced concrete which connects the Neogothic part built at the end of the XIX century with the new Gaudinian architecture. A narrow corridor surrounds the seven chapels and connects them at the level of the apse “cantoría”.
The stone collocation of the capitals of the ten columns is also progressing. Those columns close the apse with the frames and pieces, and the concrete of the 40 superior columns that support the 30 meters vaults on top of the deambulatory and the big hyperboloid which will close the apse at an altitude of 75 meters. The platform of the deambulatory vaults is ready so those works can continue.
The columns dedicated to the apostles San Pedro and San Pablo have been raised
up. They will support the triumphal arch which will be elevated as a big hyperbolic parabola on
top of the mayor altar.
When the whole is finished, it will be possible to walk around the interior of the Temple at an altitude of 15 meters in a tour of more than 300 meters.
The superior part of the elevator cases is being prepared. After crossing the vaults of 30 meter
they will provide access to an altitude of 45 meters, in order to connect with the future elevators
which will reach, through the towers of the evangelists Marcos and Lucas, an altitude of 85 meters.
Finally, they will reach the cross which will crown the Temple, at an altitude of 170 meters,
through the interior of the great dome dedicated to Jesus Christ.
La figure of the Ascension of Jesus Christ is being executed in bronze in the
foundries of Valls. Josep Maria Subirachs, who has almost recovered from the operations he suffered
last autumn, is now chiseling the bronze which later will be guilt before the sculpture will be
put a an altitude of 60 meters.
The preparation works of the wall of patriarchs and prophets have started in order to avoid incidences
as a consequence of the large amount of visitors it will have.
The execution of the scale models of the apse, the transept and the Goria Façade at scale 1:25 continues.
The research where lately is being worked on has had positive results up to now on and is going on. Concretely, the recent discovery of new fragments of the scale models destroyed in 1936 which are cleaned, classified and categorized by the mold makers’ atelier consolidates the hypotheses that they are part of the work. So, some original fragments at scale 1:10 of the Eucharistic crowning of the big windows of the central nave can be incorporated in the future at the most visible place of the beginning of the domes dedicated to the evangelists. This task should be carried out by the sculptor Sotoo. This research has also clarified the existence of some of the drawings of the Temple as a whole; the needle which crowns spiral-shaped stairways at each side of the apse, which include the elevator which will give access to the elevators that go to the highest point of the Temple. Those drawings photographically conserved at a highly reduced format had confused the needles with their Neogothic aspect with the shadow of the bell-towers. Today, thanks to the new digital technology it has been made possible to know Gaudí’s original idea.
This discovery has simplified a problem which solution was difficult: according to the valid normative there had to be included an access for handicapped people to the central cross, something which wasn’t considered 80 years ago. Well, the plans of those elements are being remade, which brings along that we must think of creating a new structure to support a needle which is almost 60 meters high. This makes it possible to incorporate an element Gaudí had established and so we are even closer to his project.
On the other hand, the computer drawings of the irregular 30 meters vaults of the deambulatory are finished. Today they will go on to the scale model 1: 25 so as to see if everything corresponds. From then on the study of the coverings of this part of the apse will go on.
We keep on looking for more possible solutions to connect the columns which support the bell towers with to all the hyperboloids of the central part of the Gloria Façade.
The definitive drawings of the fifth big windows of the lateral naves are finished and the execution of the coverings of the central nave is still being studied, as well in the sections of the central nave as in the delivery with the big window of the Passion Façade and with the interior Façade of Birth.
The goal of the recent incorporation of new specialized techniques is being reached and so, the architects F. Fargas and J. Serrallonga have joined the office. Nobody is really prepared to this, so we hope to benefit from our great relationship with the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, so that they include in 2004 - 2005 a university master about the most advanced IT programs so that we’ll find staff with knowledge about the geometry of regulated forms as well as about its application to the Temple.
There is also being worked on constructive solutions of the vaults of the crossbeam and the lateral articulation with the domes of the evangelists. The study of the superior space that links the principal dome has also started.
There are new workspaces and a more adequate access to the offices from calle
The opening of the new point of information and souvenir service to the visitors of the Mercè Cloister, as well as the fact of taking away the crane with which this one has been built, visibly enhances the space around the schools. In summer, this will create a bigger access to the interior of the Temple from the Passion Façade. The image of the Ascension of Jesus Christ will not be placed until the end of the year, but the construction of the wall of the patriarchs and prophets in the superior part of the Passion Façade is initiated.
We hope to finish the vaults of the chapels in the apse by October 2004, as well as to install the spiral-shaped north elevator which will reach a height of 45 meters. Some new preparatory work platforms, at an altitude of 55 meters for the construction of the vaults of the crossbeam, together with the installation of the third crane on top of the central vault of the eastern transept, will permit to accelerate the works of this part of the Temple.
Also the vaults of the “cantorías” of the front will be initiated, with the fifth big windows, in order to cover during the year 2005, those of 30 meters height and to close the interior of the Temple.
Finally, in the following months the vaults that support the towers of the evangelists Juan y
Mateo will be completed. The frontons and Eucharistic pinnacles of the big windows of the central
nave will be raised up.