The construction of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona Spain started in 1882 and it is still not finished. It is believed that Antoni Gaudi designed this church so that it can only be finished by future generations. Looking at the currently finished interior and existing models, paintings and design plans, it is no wonder why it has to take so long to build. The world has changed considerably since 1882, yet, being knocked to ground several times in history, this church is still under construction. To better appreciate the beauty of this beast I would like to have a nice solid model of it but I didn't find anything I can buy, so I decided to make one myself and luckily we have Shapeways.
This model tries to capture the exterior of the church. It took me so long to model this. In several occasions, I almost gave up. However, this process has improved my modelling technique in Blender considerably. As you probably noticed, I take some liberty on both the part that has been built and not built. I also leave the outer wall of the church and several surrounding smaller spires out of this version of the model.
The modelling process is also a learning adventure from Antoni Gaudi himself. The building is like a growing organism. The circular spires grow out of the cubic walls of the church like amazing limestone crystal formation. It would be even more amazing if I could model the interior as well. From time to time, I could almost see how the interior could come out of the outer shell of the church.
The actual design of La Sagrada Familia is apparently very different from most modern buildings. It has its symmetry but each of the three Facades is different. The windows of the church form sophisticated patterns. It is both functional and decorative. The sculptures also grow out from the walls of the church like it is really part of the building. It is not something that you can add to it later on because that will change the feeling of the entire thing, which is a huge sculpture in itself.
There are people who devote a good part of their life to a small part of this wonder. There is no way I can capture all of that in a small model like this. However, I try to show as much as can, especially part of the exterior that is most impressive to me.
Are we really better than constructing buildings today than before? or have we simply got rid of the most interesting part of a building and strip it down to its barebone cubicle. It would be nice to have more buildings like this where people connect with and to each other. It is, after all, as the name suggested, a family house (although maybe not religiously correct).
It's like the Ferrari in the world of buildings. The character does come with a price tag. With new technologies and services like Shapeways, where the design choice is partly given back to the consumer, that day may not be too long to come.