Reconsidering Gaudi's Sagrada Familia

An important characteristic of critical thinking is the ability and willingness to reconsider our own strongly held beliefs. This morning in El País there is an interesting example of this: the architect and designer Oscar Tusquests Blanca reconsiders his decades old opposition to the project to finish Antoni Gaudí's Sacred Family temple in Barcelona and offers a mea culpa. In the sixties Tusquests organized a manifesto in opposition to the effort to restart work on the now famous temple. The opposition was centered on the belief that many of Gaudi's plans and models had been destroyed during the Spanish Civil War and that respecting his vision for the monument would be impossible. In his essay Tusquests explains why he was wrong and why the world is fortunate his effort to halt the project failed. Of course, Tusquest's change of heart did not just happen intuitively. To the contrary, he learned that enough documentation was saved to understand quite well how Gaudí envisioned the temple's basic structure. It's an interesting article. The Sagrada Familia is, of course, a major tourist attraction in Barcelona. For me, Gaudí's occasional "dripping sand" style suggests the weight of gravity: we fall under the weight of the Cosmos. On the other hand, he does seem to like vertical lines that reach up towards the heavens. Tension! (In the image above, one of Tusquest's chair designs.)

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