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Antoni Gaudí – Genius Architect and Nature’s Translator

On June 25th, 1852, on the Mediterranean coast of Spain...

Antoni Gaudí i Cornet was born the youngest of five siblings.

As a child, Gaudí was too ill to play outside. So his devoted mother Antònia Cornet placed his bed next to a large window with a view of the family gardens.

The garden’s curved lines, twisting shapes and rich colors captured Gaudí’s imagination. He loved how every blade, leaf and flower was so beautiful and unique. And later in life, this deep fascination with nature’s forms inspired his architectural designs.

But not all approved of his nature-inspired designs at first...

When Gaudí graduated from Barcelona Higher School of Architecture in 1878, the school's director said, “We have given this academic title either to a fool or a genius. Time will show.”

And time indeed revealed the answer...

A chance meeting with wealthy Spanish industrialist Eusebi Güell transformed Gaudí’s future forever. Gaudí’s ornate, nature-inspired designs enchanted Güell. So he commissioned Gaudí to design several major projects, including Güell’s primary residence and the enchanting park: Parc Güell.

And in 1883, with Güell’s blessing, Gaudí began work on his masterpiece: La Sagrada Família Basilica.

For over 50 years, Gaudí poured his heart and soul into the basilica -- translating nature’s forms into an architectural wonder.

The basilica’s columns mimic curved sequoia trunks. Branches, leaves, flowers, fruits and animals of all kinds decorate the walls. And for light, Gaudí designed soaring stained glass windows with handmade panels.

When the solstice glows through the rich crimson, azure and golden panels, the basilica fills a dancing kaleidoscope of color.

Gaudi’s fiery passion for translating nature’s designs into architectural forms and the indomitable power of his unique vision... sealed his reputation as one of the most original architects of all time.

Today, seven of Gaudí’s incredible buildings grace Barcelona’s streets. Each bears the hallmarks of the aesthetic which formed in Gaudí’s childhood.

Catalonian citizens and architectural critics worldwide hail his designs as pure genius. And UNESCO recognized them all as World Heritage sites.

Gaudí passed away without seeing his beloved basilica completed. But his legacy as an architectural genius lives on through his astonishing works.

Every year over 4 million people visit La Sagrada Familia Basilica to experience the wonders of Gaudí’s endless imagination.

And thousands of people enjoy the spirit of his stained glass windows reflected in Cornet Barcelona’s handcrafted designs.