Antoni Gaudí i Cornet

Antoni Gaudí i Cornet was a Catalan architect from Reus and the best known practitioner of Catalan Modernism. Gaudí’s works reflect an individualized and distinctive style. Most are located in Barcelona, including his magnum opus, the Sagrada Família. The author of eighteen buildings is the architect Gaudi. All of them are executed on the territory of Spain: 14 – in their native Catalonia, 12 of them in Barcelona. A trail of legends and myths stretches behind each of these creations. His houses are rebuses. It seems that it is impossible to unravel their hidden meaning.


Under the influence of neo-Gothic art and Oriental techniques, Gaudí became part of the Modernista movement which was reaching its peak in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His work transcended mainstream Modernisme, culminating in an organic style inspired by natural forms. Gaudi is the most famous architect in Spain. His work marked the flowering of modernity in this country. A characteristic feature of Gaudi’s style is that natural, organic forms (animals, rocks, trees, clouds) have become sources of architectural fantasies of this author. Antonio did not like geometrically correct and enclosed spaces. He believed that a straight line is a product of man. But the circle is the product of God. Antonio Gaudi declared war on a straight line, forming his own style, which is easily recognized even by people far from architecture.


Gaudí rarely drew detailed plans of his top works, instead preferring to create them as three-dimensional scale models and molding the details as he conceived them. 20 years later, the architect Gaudi received the only official award in his biography – the city prize for the facade of the mansion, which he executed for the Calvet family, the textile magnates. Not without raisin, work was done, however Casa Calvet, rather reserved, is the most unassuming project of Antonio Gaudi.

Gaudí’s first projects were the lampposts he designed for the Plaça Reial in Barcelona, the unfinished Girossi newsstands, and the Cooperativa Obrera Mataronense (Workers’ Cooperative of Mataró) building. He gained wider recognition for his first important commission, the Casa Vicens, and subsequently received more significant proposals. The trust was trusted by private clients. Gaudi (the architect) and his house deserved the recognition of contemporaries. Don Montaner, the manufacturer, in 1883, ordered him a summer home. Architect Antonio Gaudi, examining for the first time the place of future construction, while still a suburb, discovered a huge palm surrounded by yellow flowers. He preserved both the vegetation and the tree. Palm leaves made up a lattice pattern, and flowers can be seen on the facing tile. They say that, paying for the fantasies of Antonio Gaudi, the customer almost went bankrupt.


The 1888 World Fair was one of the era’s major events in Barcelona and represented a key point in the history of the Modernisme movement. Leading architects displayed their top works, including Gaudí, who showcased the building he had designed for the Compañía Trasatlántica (Transatlantic Company). Strong impression on Barcelona made an extravagant debut. Gaudi, most importantly, had a patron who was called Don Eusebio Güell. This man had an impeccable taste. He liked risky experiments. Guell did not impose his opinion, he signed the estimates without looking. Architect Antonio Gaudi gradually became a family architect and friend of Guelay.

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