One of these things is not like the others… If you grew up on Sesame Street, then you know that refrain well. I have been in my fair share of cathedrals—from the medieval to the modern, and none come close to being anything like Sagrada Familia. Gaudi was a strange and brilliant man who produced strange and brilliant work. In Sagrada Familia, seemingly random, organic forms dissolve into strong geometry. And although experimentation is prevalent, somehow a language of intention dominates the structure. Indirect light escapes from a partially hidden oculus; bright, colored lights splash onto whitewashed walls and ceilings; portions so organic that they appear to melt in the soft, diffused light—it is, for lack of a better description, enchantingly otherworldly.
So what in the hell does Gaudi have to do with The Artisans Group? I think the answer lies in longevity. His work—and ours—is not just about how long a structure will last, but asks the question: is it worthy of the right to do so? The answer is the reason that a hundred years later people labor to finish and protect Gaudi’s poignant piece of architecture. It became more than the sum of its parts—careful design, incredible vision and, arguably, a touch of the divine make what could simply be shelter into an experience. When we design and build our extra sturdy, super energy efficient homes, we don't just think about the science and detailing to make them last 200 years or longer. We consider that the design should be worthy of that longevity. I don't mean flashy or expensive. I mean good, proportionate, intriguing, human scaled, well day-lighted and spatially efficient architecture. Form may follow function, but with truly good and sustainable work, they are equal partners in the end. Ciao Gaudi, and may your works endure.
Posted on July 11, 2014