The capital of Catalonia
Barcelona is known for its unusual and beautiful architecture, a thriving creative scene and stunning artwork everywhere you look. Following in the footsteps of so many creatives who have flocked to this city in search of artistic inspiration, I came to Barcelona looking for some fresh ideas.
From the Roman times to the Gothic period to the turn of the century’s “Modernisme”, Barcelona’s architecture is a vibrant and playful mix that conveys the city’s rich history. Barcelona was home to the greatest architect of Catalan Modernism, Anthoni Gaudí. His art is scattered all over the city and gives it an unmistakable flavor that no other metropolis has. Towering high above Barcelona is Gaudí’s greatest and last creation: The basílica Sagrada Família.
A unique temple
The foundation for the Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família was laid in 1882. A year later, Anthony Gaudí took over the project and scrapped the proposed classic Gothic design of the church for something the world had never seen before.
Gaudí worked on the basilica from 1883 until his demise in 1926. By the time he died, only about 15 to 25 percent of the basilica’s design was complete. Many architects have since worked on Sagrada, and its completion is planned for 2026, marking the centennial anniversary of Gaudí’s death.
The first thing that jumps out at the visitor is the overwhelming amount of details on the Nativity, Passion and Glory facades. And although one can marvel for many hours at the art created by Gaudí and his successors on the outside walls of the church, it’s the inside that delivers the biggest emotional punch.
Gaudí was famous for citing nature as his biggest source of inspiration and so the inside of the temple was designed to represent a magical forest: the enormous columns stretch out to the high ceilings and branch out like trees to the skies; the stained-glass windows produce shifting green-blue light on one side and yellow-red one on the other while illuminating the grapes, cherries and flowers carved in stone; and the building’s imposing height creates endless verticality going upwards towards the heavens.
Every little detail was meticulously thought through by the creator. Even though Gaudí is no longer there to guide the creative process, his successors are continuing the task while remaining faithful to his inspired vision.
A true art project
To a certain degree, the process of Sagrada’s creation and construction is a lot like the development process of many other artistic projects, including branding. Just like Sagrada, brand image creation involves an artist who is not afraid to do things differently, not afraid to invest his or her time and who possesses the talent and knowledge to design an original symbol (the logo) and all the graphic elements around it. It takes a team of professionals to create a story around this new brand and allow it to grow and influence people through various media. Lastly, it will take years and a lot of hard work from many creatives to develop and maintain this image, as it adapts to your unique business needs.
I look forward to seeing Sagrada finished, although, just like so many other true art projects, it may remain an enlightening work in progress that continues to grow and evolve for years to come.