Antoni Gaudi received a pretty cool birthday present today in the form of a Google doodle celebrating the late architect’s 161st birthday.
Gaudi was a Spanish architect who was born in 1852. His work is largely concentrated in Barcelona, the Catalan capital. His arguably best work is the Sagrada Familia.
But Gaudi met his untimely end under the wheels of a city tram in 1926. With his death also came the end of his vision for the Sagrada Familia church, because he never shared his goals with another person.
Work continues on the massive basilica to this day and visitors flock by the thousands to Barcelona each year to see the masterpiece, as well as several of Antoni Gaudi’s other works. Other marvels include Park Guell, and Casa Batllo.
Gaudi was part of the art nouveau movement, and the architect’s birthday Google doodle certainly celebrates that. The doodle was created from pieces that were inspired by Gaudi,
Also called “God’s architect,” Gaudi was a devout Catholic, whose pieces were often topped by crosses. It is also possible that the Catalan architect was one of the first art therapists. It is believed that Antoni Gaudi spent time on the grounds of a psychiatric hospital, where he allowed the patients to be his artisans.
The grounds of the hospital, located south of Barcelona, are littered with tiles of his era and design. The most outstanding of the creations at Sant Bol is a bench similar to those created in Park Guell. While the structures’ crudeness caused some to suggest the sculptures at Sant Bol were copies, research has shown they pre-date Park Guell, the Sagrada Familia, and Colonia Guell.
Along with being part of the art nouveau movement, Antoni Gaudi was also considered a revolutionary in the field of structural engineering. He even went so far as to make an upside-down model of the Sagrada Familia in order to test his structural theory. Then, he tested the theory when he built Colonia Guell.
Along with a Google doodle for his birthday, admirers have long been lobbying the Vatican to have Antoni Gaudi beatified.
[Image via Bernard Gagnon]