When we were first promised a 2026 completion date for Barcelona Basílica de la Sagrada Família, the larger-than-life's work of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, it seemed like one more extension on a project whose troubles were the stuff of legend. To etch that due date into modern consciousness in the most effective way possible, the architectural custodians of this Gothic-Art Nouveau hybrid have released a minute-long YouTube video, divinely free of ads, that combines helicopter footage and computer animation to show the prospective additions rather miraculously growing from the unfinished cathedral: spires rise one after another, the central dome sprouts, Game of Thrones intro–style, from the body of the basilica, and the many-pointed Glory Façade—the main entrance, per Gaudí's design, representing the road to God—appears like the morning dew.
Generations have come and gone in the shadow of this incomplete wonder, but ours has the good fortune to be around, God willing, in the year 2026, which marks the centennial anniversary of Gaudí's death. A cavalcade of draftsmen have tried to interpret and carry out the plans of this modernist master in the ensuing years; a thorny task, given that his drawings and plaster models were destroyed by anarchists during the Spanish Civil War. The current head architect, Jordi Bonet, whose father worked under Gaudí, has been aided by the surviving system of site-specific geometric rules upon which Gaudí based his design decisions, as well as by computer-based construction techniques like 3-D scanning and CNC-milled stone, which have reduced the project's remaining timeline to a negligible one, at least in Sagrada Família years.
Bonet has also had to make some inevitably controversial decisions based on less-than-perfect knowledge of Gaudí's original intent, and in person, the white hue of these newer additions stands in stark contrast to the dark stone of the original Nativity Façade. The critical waters surrounding this final set of changes are sure to be muddied in years to come, but the promise of closure is sweet for the pilgrims and tourists who have come to appreciate Sagrada Família as the most ambitious cathedral in human history, finished or not. Until that closure comes, the trippy interior of the place is always open for appreciation. And, of course, this:
· A 1-Minute Video Shows The Completion Of Gaudí's Sagrada Família [Co.DESIGN]
· Antoni Gaudí's Sagrada Família Finally Nearing Completion [Curbed National]
· A Kaleidoscopic Look at the Interiors of La Sagrada Família [Curbed National]