Antoni Plàcid Guillem Gaudí i Cornet was born in Catalonia in Spain in 1852. A devout Catholic and an architect, he abandoned all secular work and devoted his life to designing and building a church with 18 towers – 12 for the 12 apostles, four for the four evangelists, one for Mary and one for Jesus.
Inspired by his religious faith, fascinated by geometry and the natural wonders of the Catalonian countryside, he developed his own style by blending neo-Gothic, Art Nouveau and Eastern elements. For more than 12 years Gaudi rendered his plans for the Sagrada Família in geometric 3-D models.
When Antoni Gaudi died in 1926, only 15 to 25% of the church had been constructed, but the construction of the Sagrada Familia continues, having been taken up by several architects over the years. Mark Burry of New Zealand who now serves as Executive Architect and Researcher, says those 3-D models have been vital to Gaudí’s successors to carry on his vision.
The Sagrada Familia’s anticipated completion date is 2026, the centennial of Gaudí’s death.