The Sagrada Familia by Gijs Van Hensbergen

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A definitive and illuminating biography of one of the most famous--and most famously unfinished--buildings in the world, the Sagrada Familia of Barcelona.

Antoni Gaudí's masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia, epitomizes the architect's quixotic ambition, his religious devotion, and the sensuous eccentricity of his design. Its scaffolding-cloaked spires reach up to the heavens, dominating the Barcelona skyline and drawing in millions of visitors every year. What seduces our attention is not only its architectural extravagance but the sheer longevity of its construction. More than a century after Gaudí saw the first stone laid in 1882, the Sagrada Familia remains unfinished, unlikely to be completed until 2026 at the very earliest. It has survived two World Wars, the ravages of the Spanish Civil War and the “Hunger Years” of Franco's rule. It has defied the critics, the penny-pinching accountants, the conservative town-planners, and the devotees of sterile modernism; it has enchanted and frustrated the citizens of Barcelona; and it has passed through some of the most momentous changes in society and history.

The Sagrada Familia explores the evolution of this remarkable building, working through the decades right up to the present day before looking beyond to the final stretch of its construction. At once a guidebook and a history, it is also a moving study of man's aspiration toward the divine. Rich in detail, vast in scope, this is a revelatory chronicle of an iconic structure, its place in history, and the wild genius that created it.

Bloomsbury USA: 2017.
ISBN: 9781632867810. 224 pp.
Hardcover. Very good.