|Num 44, Summer 2008||24.900 copies|
156th ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF GAUDI AND 82 YEARS SINCE HIS DEATH
COCA PASTRY TO CELEBRATE GAUDI MONTH
During the month of June two important milestones were reached. Firstly, the anniversary of the birth of Gaudi on June 25, 1852. He was born at 9:30 a.m. in the morning in Camp de Tarragona, some people say in Reus, there are others that think he was born in Riudoms and others still who say he was born in Reusdoms.
Almost 75 years later, on June 10, 1926, he died as the victim of a traffic accident caused by a route 30 tram at the intersection of Bailén and Gran Via streets. As was customary he was making his way towards the Church of Sant Felip Neri without realizing the danger that awaited him at the fateful crossing. More than likely he was preoccupied with the Sagrada Familia (Sacred Family) works, and hadnt noticed the tram approaching.
June is Gaudi month and to celebrate such a wonderful occasion, we invite you to taste coca pastry and welcome in the summer equinox with a glass of champagne.
...Read full new
2. HOW IS THE TEMPLE OF THE SAGRADA FAMILIA (SACRED FAMILY)?
THE SAGRADA FAMILIA RECEIVED 2.867.227 VISITORS BETWEEN JUNE 2007 AND MAY 2008
Barcelona, June 4, 2008. The Expiatory Temple of the Sacred Familiy received 2.867.227 visitors between June 2007 and May 2008, data which once again consolidates the Temple as the main area of tourist attraction in the city of Barcelona...Read full new
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE SAGRADA FAMILIA BUILDERS DELEGATION BOARD, JOAN RIGOL
Last year we began the celebration of 125 years of the Sagrada Familia, a commemoration which ends around the middle of this year. This has been a unique opportunity to rewind history, review the origins of the project and to involve the entire world...Read full new
UP-DATED PHOTOGRAPHIC INFORMATION OF THE BUILDING WORKS AND THEIR STATUS
An architect explains the work in one of the chapels of the apse of the Sacred Family in Barcelona, where some chapels have already been located, during our visit to the Temple as organised by the Construction Board in order to publicize developments in the building works .
Views of the dome and stained glass
© eloi bonjoch/temple sagrada familia
THE DOORS OF THE HEAVEN FACADE
In the biography of the sculptor Josep Mª Subirachs that I will soon be publishing, a long work spanning nearly two decades, I devote an extensive chapter to revealing part of the infinite secrets that the Doors of the Sagrada Familia, made by the sculptor and numbering eight so far, have long guarded.
Six of the doors belong to the facade of The Passion. On them Subirachs relied on the colaboration of his assistant Ramon Millet for he sculpting and casting of their letters and motifs, and all six can now be seen installed on the site. The instalation of the last two doors is scheduled for September 2008 in the Heaven facade, which is currently being built on Mallorca street and will in the future constitute the main entrance to the temple.
These doors of the Heaven facade might possibly be the work of Subirachs, thereby completing his contribution to the Sagrada Familia, connecting with the crafty intention of Antonio Gaudi, as commented upon by himself, of inserting several prayers in the temple in full view of everyone, so that upon reading them those who come to the Temple say a prayer, albeit without being conscious of so doing. The architect already employed the same strategy in all eight of the church bell towers applying several short prayers: Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus. Hosanna, etc.
The design of these two giant doors, the largest work in bronze of a sculptor well known for his monumental works in stone or concrete, are finished with an elegant simplicity. Under the guidance of Subirachs, his assistant sculptor Bruno Gallart has collaborated in the casting and sculpting of thousands of letters ranging from 5 and 20 centimeters in size, composing the start of the second paragraph of The Lord´s Prayer: Give us this day our daily bread, in fifty different languages presided over by Catalan, mother tongue of the architect and the sculptors. Sardinian and Swahili, Gaelic and Coptic, are the four languages that have completed the half century, added in a final push this month of June when the sculpting of the doors was almost complete.
From Portuguese to Castilian, Japanese to Arabic, Flemish to French, each and every visitor to the Sagrada Familia can appreciate the universal vocation of Antonio Gaudi in their own language.
The Vilá Valls Foundry entrusted with the commission, began a few months back the laborious, thousand-year old process of the lost-wax casting of the twenty-four quadrants that make up each sheet of the door. The process begins by impregnating them one by one in melting wax which once dried will be covered with a specific material in the form of a crust. The wax melts under heat and is then removed, and the space it occupied thereafter filled with bronze. The piece is then once more placed in the oven and after more than one day of cooking, the bronze shapes the piece, thereby completing the process, with only the release from the mold remaining.
Thereafter the specialists work begins, meticulous work that contains a lot of silver work, cleaning and brushing, leaving each panel with areas polished to different degrees which visually provides a range of different tones, a little more gold here, a little greener or browner there, giving the bronze surface its accurate finish. Now is the time to weld the various parts together thereby forming each leaf of the door and thereafter proceed to the framing and delicate adjusting of both parts, whose combined weight is around three tonnes. A laborious task which takes time, until the mechanism designed to move its massive weight manages to open and close the doors smothly.
Through Josep Mª Subirachs, Antonio Gaudi will address on his 156th anniversary each and every one of those who come to view the Temple of the Sagrada Familia, speaking to them in their own language, whilst paying tribute to all those who believed in his utopian project, and all those who in one way or another benevolently crossed his path: The Japanese Kenji Imaii, the American Collins, the German Frei Otto, the Portuguese Antonio Cordeiro, the New Zealander Mark Burry, the Chilean Fray Angel Aranda, the galician Ramon Perez Vazquez, the gypsy Pubill, the Lebanese Maruan Halabi, the Catalans Salvador Dalí, Bassegoda and Maragalls, the basque Teodoro Anasagasti, the Castilian Fernando Chueca Goitia ... And so many more.
Congratulations. As Gaudi's friends we have reasons to celebrate.
|Fragment of one of Heaven´s Doors covered in red wax prior to entering the oven.
|| ||Panel already baked and melted in bronze|
THE AVE TRAIN AND ITS DIRE CONSEQUENCES
"Forgive them Lord, they know not what they do"
The high-speed train finally arrives in Barcelona, thereafter joining up with France. But along the way it will pass too close to the Sagrada Familia. The Patrons of the Temple have already taken legal action against the project and the architect, Jordi Bonet explains why.
Tourists of all nationalities photograph the most emblematic monument of Barcelona: the Sagrada Familia. For many, is the best architectural work of the city and for some, one of the main reasons for their visit to Barcelona. Perhaps that is why everyone reacts with such surprise upon learning of the proposed construction of the high-speed train tunnel (AVE) which will reach the border of France, less than one meter from its foundations:
Members of the Board of the Sagrada Familia are surprised and terrified, as are those in charge of the Temple´s construction, amongst them, the architect Jordi Bonet who called it a "nonsense". As a result, they have registered a dispute with the National Court, calling for the AVE train, which will cross the main facade of the Sacred Family in order to reach Sagrera station, to be kept away from the Temple.
«They say that nothing will happen but it happens»
The Board, supported by geologists, engineers and other experts fear the erosion and wear and tear that both the passage of trains and the building works may cause in the short or long term. To remedy possible damage, a screen wall will be built between the tunnel and the foundations. According to Bonet, "the remedy will be worse than the disease" as the work of building the wall, not even necessarily effective, will be very aggressive to the temple and will block some of the entrances to visitors and some of the work on the monument.
The Government, which apparently has already decided that this will be the train´s route, is supported by many engineers who deny there is any danger. And the town council, who are somewhat sceptical, will be advised by a committee of 6 experts who will meet every 3 months. But Bonet is not convinced: 'How can we believe them, if they say that nothing will happen and it happens? ". The architect refers to the collapse of a metro tunnel in the neighborhood of Caramel Barcelona, which caused several holes in the ground, and that of another tunnel near the airport AVE. "Some think that everything can be done, says Bonet, and zero risk does not exist. Some engineers say that there is no danger and others say there is and it appears that the most sensible course of action is to not risk it”. The lack of test drillings declared by the College of Geologists also gives rise to doubt. The project began 6 years ago and the route has changed on several occasions, the arrival of the AVE at the border was delayed 3 years for security reasons and, now, there are still 5 test drillings yet to be made. "Can this be serious?" wonders Bonet.
The government «does not want to know» about any other possibilities. By charting the journey along the coastline, tunnels linking the Estació de Franca with Sagrera could be re-used and a project developed that would be both less costly and with less affected parties. «¿What are the unmentionable interests of the Government?», wonders the architect, and explains that Estació de Franca land was sold to the construction company Sacyr-Vallehermoso, who have also been awarded the AVE work.
«¡This is a business!» he claims. The AVE, whilst perfectly able to take an alternate route, brushes passed the heaviest building in the city that also happens to have a unique and fragile structure and is a World Heritage Site. «Our obligation is to defend this ... It is not mine, it belongs to everyone!»
The Board hope that, if the tunnel is not built, they will have the Sagrada Familia covered by 2011. When asked when it will be definitively finished, Mr. Bonet replied: «If I were to tell you, I would almost certainly be wrong. Gaudí was often asked and he replied “my client is not in a hurry”.»
The remains of the Sagrada Familia ©N! France
There is a Plan B!
THE SAGRADA FAMILIA INSIDE THE CATHEDRAL OF BARCELONA
In the chapel of the Virgen del Pilar inside the Cathedral of Barcelona, on 16th May last, an image of San Jose Manyanet was placed, holding in his hand the ExpiatoryTemple of the Sacred Family, a sculpture by renowned artist Carulla, and almost certainly from now on the symbol of the Holy founder of the Sagrada Familia schools of Father Manyanet.
In 1869 also in Barcelona, after having informed his bishop of Urgell about the inspiration he received in prayer to raise a temple in honor of the Sagrada Familia, he shared the idea with directors of the Josefina Association, who then made possible the brilliant work of the architect Antoni Gaudi, whom we all appreciate and admire.
For all these reasons, the presence of Sant Josep Manyanet in the Cathedral Church of Barcelona is an eloquent witness to the love and integration of the church diocese and its pastors and, at the same time, a hopeful appeal for us all to be a family, to make the world a home and every home a Nazareth: a veritable school of virtues and faith.
THE TOWN COUNCIL AS A MODERN JESUS, WHO EXPELLED THE MERCHANTS FROM THE TEMPLE, THROW OUT THE SAGRADA FAMILIA STALLS
The council will not renew the licenses in late December for traders who for more than twenty years, have mounted their stalls around the Sagrada Familia.
The objective is to maintain the religiosity of such a Holy site and avoid it turning into a bazaar where you can buy Mexican hats, bullfighter´s costumes, decorated bulls and any other type of “Typically Spanish” Souvenirs, transforming the area surrounding the Temple into a shabby and busy marketplace damaging to the image of Barcelona and its citizens.
To begin with the stalls were selling handicrafts relating to Gaudi and his works, over time it has deteriorated and despite the many warnings from the town council, these were all ignored and now they must pay the consequences.
3. GREAT DISCOVERY IN SEU DE MALLORCA
Some stained-glass windows have been found in Seu that Gaudi designed for the Trinitat chapel.
With all the precautions that surround any discovery, the finding of a series of stained glass windows that Antoni Gaudi might have made for the chapel of Trinitat has uncovered valuable material that is currently being studied.
Within the context of the ongoing process of documentation that is taking place in the chapel of Trinitat to accommodate the project for the replacement of stained-glass windows and the restoration of elements of the Royal Chapel, aswell as the possible restoration of the Mare de Déu which presides over the altarpiece in the chapel of Trinitat, is where the discovery of the stained-glass windows must have been made.
These decorative elements were stored in large crates that were sealed. Now an exhaustive study must be made of this material, with the relevant inventory, cataloguing and analysis. There will be several possible hypotheses which may be on offer such as that they were stained-glass windows originating in Barcelona and which formed part of the intervention procedure that the creator of the Milá House was carrying out in Seu and which was left unfinished or even that they were not of the architect´s authorship. Investigations are being carried out at the request of the canon responsible for Heritage, Llorenç Tous.
On behalf of Bishop Campins, Antoni Gaudi worked in the Seu from 1904 until the death of his protector in 1914, helped by Joan Rubió and later by Josep Maria Jujol. However, various versions blame Rubió´s jealousy of Jujol for the Gaudinian work remaining unfinished.
The architect and professor of the University of Barcelona and one of the authors of La Seu de Mallorca, Josep Quetglas, writes about Gaudí´s "transparent drawing for stained-glass windows" as "this becomes denser, overlapping layers of colored glass - up to five layers - to obtain a quite thick density of light. (...) Gaudí´s stained-glass windows do not darken but densify the space, slowing the passage of air, increasing its inertia. There is a constant in the Gaudí´s taste, that of investment in the different behavioural modes of materials: the dense ones must behave as if weightless, liquefied, empty, while transparent materials increase their density until reaching a thickness that brakes and slows down their mobility.".
In the Chapel Royal this description written by Josep Quetglas about Gaudís stained-glass windows can be appreciated, and he advocates that they should be included as part of the avant-garde art movement which at that time broke out in Europe.
Source: Diario de Mallorca
View of the choir and at the back, the episcopal chair and above it the Chapel of Trinitat.
Photo: Donald Murray
4. REOPENING OF THE PALAU GÜELL
Image of the basement floor
At long last the Palau Güell has been partially opened to the public. Admission is free and it is not known when it will open definitively. Visitors will be able to take a virtual tour of the entire building, by means of a projection screen installed in the stables.
The Palau Guell, built by Antoni Gaudi, was declared a World Heritage Site in 1984 by UNESCO for its contribution to and influence on the techniques and forms of modern twentieth century construction and for its remarkable character.
Thus, the urban landscape of Raval reappears, one of the most emblematic facades of the city. Built with calcareous stone from Garraf, the facade of the Palau Guell is of great severity, accentuated by the gallery on the main floor, supported by cantilevers. Of similar note are the two arches above the entrance, the crown of the facade with stone balustrade and the four chimneys.
Flanking the entrance to the Palace, on the ground floor, is a row of neat marble columns that support the mezzanine. It is in this part of the hall that the ceilings are highest, made with concentrically placed tiles forming six flat laps.
The basement, intended to stable horses, is one of the few spaces within Gaudí´s entire work where the architect anticipated leaving the walls and other structural elements bare. The arches and rows of brick which form the ceiling are supported by load-bearing walls, all made from uncovered ingot steel, and all serving to create a space with a suggestion or expression of formality.
Place: Nou de la Rambla, 3 -5
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday (inclusive) from 10 am to 14:30 pm. Holidays closed
Getting There: Metro, L3 (Liceu), Bus 14, 59, 91, 120
5. MODEL FOR THE BLIND AT THE CASA BATLLÓ
A new model of the Casa Batlló has been built in the workshop of the Higher Technical School of Architecture at the Valles of UPC.
It has been installed on the main floor of the building to enable the blind who visit it to touch the beechwood rails, the fine layer of "trencadis" ceramics, the iron grilles of the balconies and, in polyurethane, to appreciate the shapes inspired by human bones or the dragon whose ceramic back undulates the flat roof.
We congratulate the management of the Casa Batlló on this initiative on behalf of those less fortunate, which honours them and exalts their participation so that everyone, even the blind, can get to know in depth the work of Gaudí.
6. A GREAT FRIEND OF GAUDI, HIS LITTLE STORY
Josep Maria Tarragona
Gil Parés i Vilasau was born in Barcelona on October 3, 1880 and was baptized on the 7th in the parish of Sant Francesc de Paòla.
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7. ANTONIO GAUDI'S SECRET PLAN
LEÓN.- 57 years have had to pass before the drawing made by Antonio Gaudí to design the Botines de Leon building, the head office of Caja España, was exposed. The document was found in 1951 inside the statue of Saint George, which forms part of its facade.
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THE GAUDÍ STATUE OF SANT JORDI, IN "CASA BOTINES"
The first historic document that mentions the figure of Sant Jordi, located on the southern or main facade of the main southern of the 'Casa Botines' 1892 work by Antonio Gaudi Cornet 1852-1926,...Read full new
8. SENSATIONAL GAUDI DISCOVERS FROM HIS YOUTH
CATALUNYA.-An unpublished document reveals that Gaudi felt Reus to be his hometown and opted to build the current Theatre Fortuny
An unpublished document found by Joan Bassegoda, curator architect of the Royal Gaudí Chair, reveals that the great architect recognized Reus as his hometown and that he opted to plan what is now the Teatre Fortuny.
Bassegoda discovered the documentation when reviewing unpublished notes of Gaudí´s first biographer, Francesc Rafols. In them, the Gaudí scholar had notes taken from the documentation at the architects house, which was destroyed in the fire of the Temple of the Sacred Family in 1936.
In one of the manuscripts, pages written in ink and pencil, reference is made to the participation of Gaudi in the contest convened in 1880 by the Society of Theatre de Reus Casino for the construction of its theatre, which is currently the Theatre Fortuny, inaugurated in 1882.
500 pesetas were to be paid if the project was not chosen, as happened, and 2,000 pesetas if it were chosen and executed. In a letter of thanks for taking his project into account, Gaudi defines Reus as his "unforgettable hometown." For Bassegoda this qualification is "interesting" because it is Gaudi himself who refers to Reus as his city of birth.
Similarly, the notes are remarkable as they make reference to some little-known work of Gaudí as a designer of theatrical equipment. And, on other pages it is explained how he was commissioned with a theatre in Cadiz, which he rejected, as well as the invitation to take part in the decoration of the stalls of the Teatre del Liceu. The document also details some projects such as the house of Salvador Pagès in Mataró (Barcelona) or the Vallgorguina windows (Barcelona).
On June 10, 2008, it was 82 years since the death of Gaudí at the Santa Cruz Hospital in Barcelona. And even though, since that moment, numerous researchers, historians, art critics, journalists and novelists brimming with fantasy have written and published all kinds of books, biographies, articles and other texts, there are still many things that remain to be said and explained.
For example, we have here revealed some facts about the young architect Gaudi, unpublished until now ...... and the research goes on!
Ràfols, little more than a year after the death of Gaudi, on June 10, 1926, prepared more than 600 files, of drawings, maps, photographs and original documents. The documents and the files were ceded to one of the directors of the Sagrada Familia works, the architect Isidre Puig Boada. He was also given the notes that he had copied from the documents preserved in the Parque Güell house. The documents and the files were for the archive of the Temple of the Sagrada Familia, where they were criminally destroyed during the war, in the fire of 1936. The handwritten notes remained in the care of Puig Boada who placed them in the hands of J. F. Ràfols, these being so very useful to him when writing the 1929 book and, after the death of Ràfols in 1965, his widow Mrs. Magdalena Solé, after carefully organising them, handed them over to the Gaudí Chair in 1968, for their study and classification.
They have been used many times in articles, books and monographs. At that time Puig Boada handed me at the Gaudí Chair other drawings and documents relating to the life and work of Gaudí. Although a fold of pages and notes in pamphlet format remained in the possession of Puig Boada which, since his death in 1987, have been cataloged and photocopied by his daughter Marta Puig Dòria who at the beginning of April 2008 kindly deposited them with the Gaudí Chair.
In a letter dated November 13, 1880, he addressed the Board of the Theatre de Reus along the following lines:
“Favoured by you to contribute to the beauty of my unforgettable hometown, I only regret that my abilities are not greater in order to make something that each one of the sons and daughters of Reus will feel in their hearts.
In addition two other notes indicate Gaudí´s theatrical activities, confirming that he did not take part in the contest to decorate the stalls of the Gran Teatro del Liceo, even though it had been suggested to him to do so.
In a second note it is stated that he was commissioned with a project for a Theatre in Cadiz, when he visited Tangier to see the spot where the building for the Catholic Missions of Africa was to be built, a commission, the Cadiz theatre one, that Gaudí did not accept.
It is necessary to comment, as Ráfols explained, that in those moments of euphoria of the recently completed studies of the architect "Gaudi dressed with an extraordinary elegance, his table was always laden with the choicest food, he never failed to ride in a carriage or attend the Teatro del Liceo in the opera season.”
The failed Reus Theatre project corresponds to the time of Gaudi the dandy, which later changed to the almost hermit-like existence of his maturity.
In the documents admitted to the Royal Gaudí Chair, regarding knowledge of works that did not take place, it is very important to highlight the forceful assertion of the architect on his birthplace, as he himself says "my unforgettable hometown ".
Joan Bassegoda Nonell
Curator of the Royal Gaudi Chair
J. F. Ràfols. “Gaudí”. Editorial Canosa. Barcelona. Enero de 1929.
2 Letter to Ràfols a J.M. Dalmases Bocabella de 27 de julio de 1927.
J. Bassegoda. “El gran Gaudí”. Sabadell. 1989. p. 71-72p.
3 The decoration of the foyer and stalls at the Lycee was awarded to Jaume Serra Gibert (1831-1877), frequent collaborator of Joan Martorell Montells and good friend of the Guell family. After the death of Serra, the task was transferred to Gaudi on February 15, 1878, and the decorative work was completed by Josep Mirabet Gatell.
4 J.F. Ràfols. Gaudí. Ed. Canosa. Barcelona. 1929. pp. 24-25.
9. RELATED NEWS
OBITUARY COMMEMORATION OF GAUDI
On June 10, 1926, it was 82 years ago that our beloved architect Antonio Gaudi Cornet left us and moved to heaven, due to a banal accident caused by a tram.
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RED ALERT IN ANTONIO GAUDI'S WORKS
Those responsable for catalan museums and cultural institutions have produced a manifesto within which they warn of the state of “red alert” of some of the most emblematic works of the architect Antoni Gaudí and of the “violation” of the authors rights to which they are subjected during the interventions that are carried out “with a lack of rigour”.
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Fresco with a Marina in Trencadis
Our partner and collaborator Livia Garreta sends us the latest works she has completed with Trencadis Mosaic.
She also gives lectures and courses in Trencadís mosaics for all who are interested in this art form.
If you would like to attend these or wish to carry out any decorations based on "Trencadis Mosaics," contact her at:
Livia Garreta Workshop Barcelona
Municipal public bench
10. OUR ONLINE SHOP
WHAT'S NEW IN THE STORE
Beautiful Jewellery Case in Resin 20€
Wooden Sagrada Familia jewellery case in various models 10€
Laser prism of the Sagrada Familia with pieces of stone from its construction
Pinnacle of the Sagrada Familia in ceramics. In different sizes: 29, 59, 99, 139€
Ceramic dragon for interior and exterior 195€
Ceramic dragon for interior and exterior
in two sizes 19 y 44€
Gaudi DVD 2008, The Pursuit of form 27€
Pack of postcards 10€
Guide to Modern architecture 45€
Gaudí Obradores, Obradoiros. Book + CD 40€
We await your news, stories, essays, photos .... Come on and contribute!
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