First international congress on Gaudí to be held in Barcelona
The Catalan architect’s work and impact on the field will be explored, with future events planned every two years until 2026
By Alessandro Allemandi. Web only
Published online: 23 January 2014
The first of a series of international conferences on the work of the celebrated Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí is due to take place this October in Barcelona; the city hosts his most famous, unfinished work, the Sagrada Família basilica. The Gaudí 1st World Congress (6-10 October) is organised by the Gaudí Research Institute and the University of Barcelona, and future editions are planned to take place every two years until 2026—when the Sagrada Família is estimated to be completed.
This year’s congress will be divided into three sections: research, influence and cityscape. First, experts will present and compare the latest research conducted on Gaudí’s architecture. These findings will be used to analyse and discuss the profound effect his work has had on the field, from the early 20th century to the present. And finally, the congress will conclude with visits to Gaudí’s buildings throughout the city, with particular attention paid to the unfinished Church of Colònia Güell, in the industrial suburb of Santa Coloma de Cervelló.
The Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, who is one of the honorary presidents of the event, will give the keynote lecture. Other speakers will include leading Gaudí scholars and researchers, including Frei Otto, Jan Molema, Rainer Graefe,
Jos Tomlow, Arnold Walz, Leonid Demyanov, Jordi Bonet, Martí Bonet and Dídac Ramírez. The talks will be held in the University of Barcelona’s historic Paranimf building and registration for the event is open online: www.gaudicongress.com
For more than ten years, the Gaudí Research Institute, founded by Manuel Medarde, Pere Jordi Figuerola and Marià Marin, has led the study of the architect’s work in Barcelona by cataloguing his archive, which includes more than 5,000 documents and countless objects and instruments. Most of the materials in the archive have been recovered from the Church of Colònia Güell site, where Gaudí was working in the years leading up to his untimely death in a tram accident. An entire complex of building was commission by Gaudí’s main patron, Count Eusebi de Güell, but only the crypt was finished.
Antoni Gaudí is arguably one of the 20th-century’s most famous architects and his building are certainly among the world’s most visited. Of the eight million tourists that visit Barcelona each year, three million come to see his Sagrada Família basilica, which was made a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1984. In fact, seven buildings of Gaudí’s projects are listed as World Heritage sites, all of them in Barcelona, more than any other architect. Since 2000, the Vatican has been considering a campaign to have the architect beatified, which is the first step towards sainthood.
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