La Sagradia Familia: Gaudi’s Way of Rejecting Stereotypes


La Sagrada Familia is one of the most famous pieces of architecture in the world. It is a Roman Catholic Cathedral built by modernist architect Antoni Gaudi. It is a building that perfectly represents modernism while rejecting modern architecture stereotypes. 

Far too often, modern architecture is erroneously stereotyped. Modern Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudi defies the misrepresentation and inaccurate stereotype of modern architecture and fortifies the fact that modernism is a very broad discourse, and must not be understood as an exclusive paradigm.

Although it is wrong, it is very easy to stereotype modern architecture— containing a lot of glass and metals, having flat roofs, always abstract, and always simple and unornamented. When someone says the words “modern architecture” it is safe to assume that, for the majority of people, one specific style comes to mind, and it is probably includes these descriptions. However, those who truly understand modernism know that if the architecture is truly modern, it will not fit under one paradigm of style. A perfect example of this is Antoni Gaudi’s “La Sagrada Familia,” one of the most famous pieces of modern architecture.

Antoni Gaudi is one of the most well known modern architects. He is known for his very detailed structure of his work, his use of ceramics and colorful stained glass, and especially for his new and original techniques. The majority of his work, including La Sagrada Familia, is inspired by nature.

La Sagrada Familia is a large Roman Catholic cathedral located in Barcelona. Its original architectural structure makes it one of the most unique pieces of art in the world. It is very geometrical, including double twisted columns, ruled surfaces, and hyperboloids. The majority is made out of reinforced concrete and twenty two different kinds of natural stone from the earth. The stone contrasts in hues, making the coloration very special.

The cathedral is very inspired by nature and is intended to resemble a forest—much of it looks like tree branches. La Sagrada Familia is also inspired by African culture, Gothic styles, and religious undertones. Gaudi was a devout Roman Catholic, and his religion and work were entwined, especially in La Sagrada Familia.

Many people say La Sagrada Familia is unlike any cathedral. It is unique to itself and reflects Gaudi’s mysticism along with his artistic talent. What makes it truly “modern” is that it is incomplete, and is constantly being modified and renovated. The building of La Sagrada Familia began in 1882, and is still being completed today. Another fact about La Sagrada Familia that justifies its strong modern presence is that the building is strongly inspired by Catalan bookseller Josep Bocabella and was intended to resemble a Gothic Revival Church. Gaudi took these early idea, but made them completely his own. He did so by adding personal elements. Gaudi was very into mystical nature, and he added a lot of these elements to La Sagrada Familia.

La Sagrada Familia is not only one of the most famous pieces of modern art, it is one of the most well known buildings in the entire world. It is a perfect representation of modernism, yet it completely rejects modern architecture stereotypes. Antoni Gaudi exemplified true modernism by building this unique structure, and planning the construction to continuously develop throughout the future—allowing room for renovation, expansion, and modernizing constantly.


Gaudi, Antoni. Sagrada Familia. 1882. Barcelona.