Date of Publication
Modern Languages and Cultures
Rachel Linville, PhD
Barcelona's architecture changed with the influence of Gaudí and his willingness to stray from the expected and normal characteristics of this time period. Since Gaudí began the construction of his various works, there have been many controversial thoughts on the time period that his works represented. Other architectures and artists were reluctant to stray from the traditional characteristics from the art movements at this time. However, Gaudí was eager to use aspects from various art movements to create designs that he thought would be beneficial to the city and to himself.
His buildings are frequently referred to as being “abstract” but in reality, they combine characteristics from various time periods in order to appear different than the other buildings at that time. Gaudí used materials from the Renaissance movement, Art Nouveau movement, and the Gothic movement in order to create his buildings throughout the city.
The desire to use multiple artistic movements in his creations guided the belief that his works had an impact on the city of Barcelona as a whole. Many people did not believe that Gaudí's various structures belonged on the streets of Barcelona because they did not demonstrate the culture or the artistic movements of that era. Currently, Gaudí is an architect that is closely related to one city, Barcelona. This city would not be the same now if it did not have Gaudí's works throughout the city because they have impacted the city and the architecture as a whole.
Throughout the entire city, there is unusual and abstract architecture that is associated with not only Gaudí but other architects after this time. He made an impact on the city and passed on the beliefs that straying from using characteristics of one artistic movement can be beneficial because the creation of unusual but desired designs can occur. In the past, Gaudí was 3 ridiculed for not following the current artistic movement but now it is the norm to use parts of each movement and combine them to create a piece that will have many variables.
Although he was scorned for using this technique when creating his designs, he in now looked at as being the architect of Barcelona because of the importance it plays in the city as a whole. Gaudí's creations are continuing to be built, using his theories, because many believe that it is important to finish his works since he does play an important role in the city but architects that are now completing works are also using this style. Barcelona used this technique when they were building for the 1992 Olympics because they wanted to have the new buildings be related to the works of Gaudí and all of the past architects since all of these buildings had a modern look to them but the elements were also extremely stylistic.
Gaudí's design of the Sagrada Familia, Casa Milá, Parque Güell, and his other buildings have had a lasting impact on Barcelona in a variety of ways. Besides the idea that his artwork is the city of Barcelona, he also helped other architects stray from the idea that they had to follow the guidelines of the present artistic movement and they started to use a variety of movements to create their designs that also resembled those of Gaudí. His works have also had an impact on the culture, economy, and tourism in this city because of the popularity of his works. The abstract look has become the culture of Barcelona and it is not associated with old and new buildings and other aspects of the city. The different creations of Gaudí located around the city bring in tourists from all over the world so they can see his works and this also brings in money to the economy as a whole. Gaudí will always have a close relationship with this city because of the lasting impact he made on the city as a whole, the people in the city and the world, and the ideas that he passed on to the other architects of this area.
Cline, Erica, "The Lasting Relationship between Antonio Gaudí and Barcelona, Spain" (2011). Senior Honors Theses. 24.