Antoni Gaudi’s studies were a process of reflection and analysis of the various architectural styles as he prepared himself for a new language of architecture that was partway between tradition and modernity, a remarkable formal language of his own.

“I have that ability to feel, to see the space because I am the son of a boilermaker. The boilermaker is a man who makes a volume out of a surface; he sees the space before he begins working.” Antoni Gaudi

“Those who wish to engage in architecture must possess remarkable aptitudes and iron discipline.” The architect is “the synthetic man who sees things clearly as a whole before they are done, who situates and connects the elements in their plastic relationship and at the right distance, like their static quality and polychrome sense.” Antoni Gaudi

 

Timeline

1879

Public lighting lampposts I Barcelona

First official commission from Barcelona City Council.

He designs three and six-armed public lampposts crowned by a winged helmet, a symbol of the commercial power that Barcelona had attained and still had at that time. The lamps were gas-powered and stand in Plaça Reial and in Pla del Palau to this day.

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1878

Display case for Esteve Comella’s glove shop I Barcelona

Design of an iron and glass display case for this glove shop on Carrer d’Avinyó.

The cabinet was shown at the World’s Fair in Paris that year, where it was admired by the industrialist Eusebi Güell i Bacigalupi. So surprised was he at the quality of the display case that he wished to meet its designer and so began the relationship between him and the architect.

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1878

Design of furnishings for the chapel of the marquises of Comillas I Comillas (Santander)

Design of furnishings for the chapel that the López family had near the Palacio de Sobrellano in Comillas (Santander).

The furnishings consisted of an easy chair with a high back, a prie-dieu and a pew. The pieces were made by the carpentry workshop of Eudald Puntí (Barcelona) around 1880, when the chapel was ready for use. The furnishings, which still survive, feature plant themes in the ogival style and depictions of animals.

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1879

Gibert Pharmacy I Barcelona

Project for the construction and decoration of the chemist’s owned by Joan Gibert i Soler on Passeig de Gràcia in Barcelona.

The design consisted of a sign, two exterior display cases, a marquetry counter and a wooden bench. The establishment was demolished a few years later.

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1881

Industrial premises in Mataró I Carrer de la Cooperativa, 47, Mataró

Gaudi devised the masterplan for the La Obrera Mataronense textile mill, the first workers’ co-operative in Spain.

Following completion of his designs for the co-op’s flag (1873), the recreational club (1878) and housing for the workers (1878), Gaudi continued to work on other projects, such as the weighbridge and porter’s lodge (1883), the society’s standard (1884) and the decoration of a room for a cultural festival (1885). His most notable work here, however, was the Bleaching Room (1883), a large room where the bleach boilers and washing vats were held and the cotton was left to drip dry. The building was extremely simple in its design, with 13 slender yet solid parabolic arches, made of small lengths of wood joined together using bolts. These arches enabled Gaudi to create a large open space of almost 600 square metres without the need for internal partitions or structural systems such as columns or pillars.

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1883-1888

Casa Vicens I Carrer de les Carolines, 18-24, Barcelona

obra gaudi casa vicens

Gaudi’s first residential project was commissioned by Manuel Vicens. It was designed as a summer residence with gardens in which geometrical forms and rich ornamentation, inspired by the local plant life, are present on the exterior of the property, as well as in its various interior spaces.

Casa Vicens presents strong medieval and Arabic influences in most of its rooms, such as the famous smoking room. One aspect worthy of note is Gaudi’s early use of industrial production methods in, for example, the tiles and the iron railings in the form of a palmetto.

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1883-1885

«El Capricho» I Barrio de Sobrellano, s/n, Comillas (Cantàbria)

obra gaudi el capricho