Church of Colònia Güell

Location: Santa Coloma de Cervelló, Barcelona
Architect: Antoni Gaudí i Cornet

photo of Church of Colònia Güell by Antoni Gaudí i Cornet

This unfinished work was built as a place of worship for the people in a manufactured suburb in Santa Coloma de Cervelló, near Barcelona. Colònia Güell was the brainchild of Count Eusebi Güell. However with Güell losing profits from his business, the money ran out and only the crypt was completed.

The technique Gaudí used to design the church was to hang little bags of birdshot from chains. Gravity would pull these bags downwards, giving even weight distribution and stretching the chains to form a model structure, thus showing him the shapes and angles his pillars would need to be. By using a mirror placed under the model, Gaudí could then see the model as it should look. This would allow Gaudí to perform designs only computers could do today. It put him a good 75 years ahead of the designs of the time.

A replica of Gaudí's model for the crypt is in the Museum under the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

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Antoni Gaudí i Cornet, modernist art, architecture