The Waldspirale is a residential building complex in Darmstadt, built in the 1990s. The name translates into English as forest spiral, reflecting both the general plan of the building and the fact that it has a green roof, it was designed by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser and implemented by architect Heinz M. Springmann, constructed by the Bauverein Darmstadt company; the building was completed in 2000. The Waldspirale apartment building is located in Darmstadt's Bürgerparkviertel, it contains a parking garage. In the past, the topmost part of the building has had restaurants and bars for people to visit. There are no open amenities for visitors; the inner courtyard contains a playground for the children of the residents and a small artificial lake. Peculiarities of the U-shaped building are the unique facade, which does not follow a regular grid organization, the windows, which appear as if they were "aus der Reihe tanzen," everywhere different and appearing out of order with'tree tenants' - trees growing out from the windows.
The diagonal roof, planted with grass, shrubs and trees, rises like a ramp along the U-form. At its highest point, the building has 12 floors; the windows of the Waldspirale, which number over 1000, are all unique: no two windows are the same. Different handles are attached in each apartment to the doors and windows; some of the apartments are decorated in Friedensreich Hundertwasser's personal style and exhibit the colourful tiles in the bath and kitchen that are characteristic of his work. Furthermore, all the corners are rounded off in these apartments along the roof and walls in an application of Hundertwasser's dogma "gegen die gerade Linie" or "against the straight line." For cost reasons, only a few of the apartments' interiors were designed individually. From the outside, the typical elements of Hundertwasser's personal style attract attention: the gilded onion domes, the absence of straight lines and sharp corners, the multicoloured painting of the building in earth tones and the colourful ceramic columns.
Http://www.oekosiedlungen.de/waldspirale/ - photo gallery and short description
The Watts Towers, Towers of Simon Rodia, or Nuestro Pueblo are a collection of 17 interconnected sculptural towers, architectural structures, individual sculptural features and mosaics within the site of the artist's original residential property in Watts, Los Angeles. The entire site of towers, sculptures and walls were designed and built by Sabato Rodia, an Italian immigrant construction worker and tile mason, over a period of 33 years from 1921 to 1954; the tallest of the towers is 99.5 feet. The work is an example of Italian-American naïve art; the Watts Towers were designated a National Historic Landmark and a California Historical Landmark in 1990. They are a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, one of nine folk art sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places in Los Angeles; the Watts Towers of Simon Rodia State Historic Park encompasses the Watts Towers site. The Watts Towers are one half mile from the 103rd Street/Watts Towers station of the Los Angeles Metro Blue Line.
Rodia spent 33 years building the towers on a small piece of land he had purchased shortly after moving to Watts in 1917. Before moving to the L. A. suburb, he had lived in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area, doing odd jobs. Divorced, estranged from his children, he came to Watts with little future. "I was one of the bad men in the United States," he recalled. "I was drunk all the time, always drinking."He was forty-two literate, unskilled beyond the basic tasks from a life of labor. To this day no one is sure why, but in 1921 he began to build "something big." "You have to be either good good or bad bad to be remembered," he said. "You gotta do somethin' they never got'em in the world." He began by digging a foundation made the rest up as he went along. The sculptures' armatures are constructed from steel rebar and Rodia's own concoction of a type of concrete, wrapped with wire mesh; the main supports are embedded with pieces of porcelain and glass. They are decorated with found objects, including bottles, ceramic tiles, figurines and much more.
Rodia called the Towers "Nuestro Pueblo". He built them with predetermined design, working alone with hand tools. Neighborhood children brought pieces of broken pottery to Rodia, he used damaged pieces from the Malibu Pottery and CALCO. Green glass includes recognizable soft drink bottles from the 1930s through 1950s, some still bearing the former logos of 7 Up, Bubble Up, Canada Dry. Rodia bent much of the Towers' framework from scrap rebar, using nearby railroad tracks as a makeshift vise. Other items came from alongside the Pacific Electric Railway right-of-way between Watts and Wilmington. Rodia walked the right-of-way all the way to Wilmington in search of material, a distance of nearly 20 miles. In the summer of 1954, Rodia suffered a mild stroke. Shortly after the stroke, he fell off a tower; the fall was from a low height but at 75, he sensed the end. In 1955, Rodia quitclaimed his property to a neighbor and left tired of battling with the City of Los Angeles for permits, because he understood the possible consequences of his aging and being alone.
He moved to California, to be with his sister and never returned. Artists and newspapers soon touted the amazing towers built by the little man. In 1961, Rodia was discovered living in Martinez. In his eighties, with broken teeth and a shock of white hair, he sat unnoticed at an art show in Berkeley where slides of his towers were shown; when the lights went up, Sam Rodia was introduced. He stood to his full 4'10"; the audience stood, for wave after wave of applause. He tipped his hat, he died four years later. Rodia's bungalow inside the enclosure burned down as a result of an accident on the Fourth of July 1956, the City of Los Angeles condemned the structure and ordered it all to be destroyed. Actor Nicholas King and film editor William Cartwright visited the site in 1959, purchased the property from Rodia's neighbor for $2,000 in order to preserve it; the City's decision to pursue expediting the demolition was still in force. The towers had become famous and there was opposition from around the world.
King, architects, enthusiasts and community activists formed the Committee for Simon Rodia's Towers in Watts. The Committee negotiated with the city to allow for an engineering test to establish the safety of the structures and avoid demolition of the structures; the test took place on October 10, 1959. For the test, steel cable was attached to each tower and a crane was used to exert lateral force, all connected to a'load-force' meter; the crane was unable to topple or shift the towers with the forces applied, the test was concluded when the crane experienced mechanical failure. Bud Goldstone and Edward Farrell were the architect leading the team; the stress test registered 10,000 lbs. The towers are anchored less than 2 feet in the ground, have been highlighted in architectural textbooks, have changed the way some structures are designed for stability and endurance; the Committee for Simon Rodia's Towers preserved the site independently until 1975 when, for the purpose of guardianship, they partnered with the City of Los Angeles and with the State of California in 1978.
The Towers are operated by the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department and curated by the Watts Towers Arts Center/Charles Mingus Youth Arts Center, which grew out of the Youth Arts Classes established in the h
Lluís Domènech i Montaner
Lluís Domènech i Montaner was a Spanish architect, influential on Modernisme català, the Catalan Art Nouveau/Jugendstil movement. He was a Catalan politician. Born in Barcelona, he studied physics and natural sciences, but soon switched to architecture, he was registered as an architect in Barcelona in 1873. He held a 45-year tenure as a professor and director at the Escola d'Arquitectura, Barcelona's school of architecture, wrote extensively on architecture in essays, technical books and articles in newspapers and journals, his most famous buildings, the Hospital de Sant Pau and Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, have been collectively designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As an architect, 45-year professor of architecture and prolific writer on architecture, Domènech i Montaner played an important role in defining the Modernisme arquitectonic in Catalonia; this style has become internationally renowned due to the work of Antoni Gaudí. Domènech i Montaner's article "En busca d'una arquitectura nacional", published 1878 in the journal La Renaixença, reflected the way architects at that time sought to build structures that reflected the Catalan character.
His buildings displayed a mixture between rationalism and fabulous ornamentation inspired by Spanish-Arabic architecture, followed the curvilinear design typical of Art Nouveau. In the El castell dels 3 dragons restaurant in Barcelona, for many years the Zoological Museum, he applied advanced solutions, he developed this style further in other buildings, such as the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, where he made extensive use of mosaic and stained glass, the Hospital de Sant Pau in Barcelona, the Institut Pere Mata in Reus. Domènech i Montaner's work evolved towards more open structures and lighter materials, evident in the Palau de la Música Catalana. Other architects, like Gaudí, tended to move in the opposite direction. Domènech i Montaner played a prominent role in the Catalan autonomist movement, he was a member of the La Jove Catalunya and El Centre Català and chaired the Lliga de Catalunya and the Unió Catalanista. He was one of the organisers of the commission that approved the Bases de Manresa, a list of demands for Catalan autonomy.
He was a member of the Centre Nacional Català and Lliga Regionalista, was one of the four parliamentarians who won the so-called "candidature of the four presidents" in 1901. Though re-elected in 1903, he abandoned politics in 1904 to devote himself to archeological and architectural research, he was buried in the Sant Gervasi Cemetery in that city. Born in Carrer Avinyó in Barcelona, he was the second son of Pere Domènech i Saló, a prestigious publisher and book-binder, Maria Montaner i Vila, a member of a prosperous family from Canet de Mar, where Domènech i Montaner spent much time in his home/office, now converted into a museum. After having studied physics and mathematics, he studied as an architect in Barcelona and at the school of architecture of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid, from where he graduated on 13 December 1873. Having completed his studies, he travelled through France, Italy and Austria to gain experience of trends in architecture. In 1875, as soon as the Barcelona school of architecture opened, he joined it, along with his friend Josep Vilaseca, as a teacher of topography and mineralogy.
In 1877 he became professor of "Knowledge of materials and the application of physiochemical science to architecture". In 1899 he was appointed professor of "Architectural Composition" and project teacher. In 1900 he became director of the school of architecture, between 1901 and 1905 he was substituted by Joan Torras i Guardiola, Domènech at this time being in Madrid as a deputy in the Congress, he returned to the post from 1905 to 1920. His teaching career lasted 45 years, he exercised a considerable influence on what was to become Modernisme in Catalonia. With his colleague Antoni Maria Gallissà he subsequently set up a workshop for advanced work on the decorative arts applied to architecture. Domènech i Montaner's buildings combine structural rationality with extraordinary ornamentation inspired by Hispano-Arabic architectural tradition and by the curves typical of Modernisme, they were in the architectural vanguard at the time, with the use of structural steel and the total utilization of exposed brickwork, incorporated a profusion of mosaics and stained glass, arranged in exquisite harmony.
As director of the School of Architecture he promoted a style, adopted by many of his pupils. Puig i Cadafalch regarded him as "a man of a certain period and of a certain artistic school, a sounding-board for developments in other countries, adapting them to his own character in an innovative way"; as the years went by, unlike many Modernista architects, Domènech i Montaner's buildings tended to become lighter, reducing the amount of structural material but retaining ornamentation as a primary element. No sooner had Domènech graduated than he set out on a tour of Europe in the company of Josep Vilaseca, was attracted by Prussian architecture. This, as well as Vilaseca's personality, had an influence on his subsequent work; this influence can be seen in a number of Domènech's works from before 1878: the Clavé family tomb and the Casa Montaner on the Ronda de la Universitat, as well as a project for the provi
Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village
Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village known as Bottle Village, is an art environment, located in Simi Valley, California. It was created by Tressa "Grandma" Prisbrey from the 1950s to the 1970s. Prisbey built a "village" of shrines, walkways and buildings from recycled items and discards from the local landfill. Bottle Village has been designated as a historical landmark by the City of Simi Valley, County of Ventura, State of California (California Historical Landmark No. 939. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. Bottle Village closed in 1984 and was damaged during the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Tressa Luella Schaefer was born in Easton, Minnesota in 1896, she attended school until the age of twelve and studied politics in North Dakota. At the age of 15, Tressa married the ex-husband of her sister, Theodore Grinolds, 37 years her senior; the marriage with Theordore only lasted 14 years and within those years she bore seven children. After Theodore's passing at age 72, Tressa and her seven children moved up to Seattle where she married an unnamed and unemployed man.
Their marriage was short lived. Over the course of her life, she had witnessed the passing of six out of her seven children. In 1946, Tressa made the move to Santa Susana, now known as Simi Valley, California. Ten years after the big move, Tressa met her husband, Al Prisbrey who bought one-third of an acre located on Cochran Street. Both brought in a trailer to live in and removed the tires and hid them in an effort to stay grounded on the lot; when Tressa first moved to Santa Susana, she had a large collection of 17,000 pencils, her hobby. In an effort to find a place to put them, she decided she wanted to make a house for her pencils to stay. At the age of 60, she began looking around to buy cinder-blocks to build with but came to discover the prices were way out of her range. Tressa stumbled upon a dump; when she returned home, she realized. She began going to her sister, Hattie's house and made cement by hand and built her first bottle house by hand; this is. Grandma Prisbrey mentioned she did not begin this project to gain attention but as an outpost as well as a place to keep all of her things.
She was much a collector as well as a recycler. She was interested in the fact that everything has a purpose and is special and unique and, what she brings to bottle village. Not just in the visuals but the overall feeling you receive from being present; the Village was much established by 1961 but Grandma kept adding structures and tweaking into the 1980s. She moved away in 1972, but came back to live in a trailer alongside the village where she continued adding sculptures and flower planters. In 1982 Prisbrey, in poor health, left Simi Valley to live with her daughter and son-in-law in San Francisco. In July 1986 the property was gift deeded to the Preserve Bottle Village committee. In October 1988, Prisbrey died from complications of a stroke at a convalescent hospital in San Francisco. Prisbrey's original idea was to build a wall to keep away the smell and dust of the adjacent turkey farm and to create a structure where she could store her 17,000 commemorative pencils, they had spent all their money paying for the property so she resorted to visiting a local dump where she found thousands of colored bottles.
She started with a wall and continued to build until she had constructed 16 buildings and structures made of glass and assorted other materials, a mosaic sidewalk, the Leaning Tower of Bottle Village, the Dolls Head Shrine, Cleopatra's Bedroom, the Round House, more. The Los Angeles Times described Bottle Village as an "eccentric folk-art wonderland." Bottle Village is seen by art historians and folklorists as a complex work combining the desires of an elderly lady to provide simple shelter for her valued personal collections. To national history, Bottle Village is important because it is a significant folk art environment created by an American folk artist of high acclaim, because it is a rarity created out of actual mass consumer throwaway from everyday lives of Americans of the late 1950s and early 1960s; when building Bottle Village, no help was given and everything is made from hand and all recycled materials. One of the shrines that can be seen at Bottle Village is called The Headlight Garden.
This garden was made for her 35-year-old daughter, diagnosed with cancer. Her daughter loved flowers so Tressa decided to make her a rose garden made out of headlights and recycled materials. Before her daughter's passing, she would love to wake up every morning and sit by the garden in silence. According to Tressa, the day her daughter died, the roses died. There are heart and spade stepping stones that symbolize when Tressa visited Los Vegas, she made the forms out of cement but filled them with random recycled things like scissors, etc. Bottle village offers not just buildings made out of bottles but wishing wells made from tiles, the ground is paved with recyclables, a doll shrine, a leaning tower of bottles and much more; each building has its own theme. For example, a doll house was built to house Grandma Prisbrey's doll collection which held 600 dolls. Grandma Prisbrey mentioned every day she would go into that house and dress up some of the dolls."Anyone can do something with a million dollars.
Look at Disney," Prisbrey once said. "
The Hundertwasserhaus is an apartment house in Vienna, built after the idea and concept of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser with architect Joseph Krawina as a co-author. This expressionist landmark of Vienna is located in the Landstraße district on the corner of Kegelgasse and Löwengasse; the Hundertwasser House is one of Vienna's most visited buildings and has become part of Austria's cultural heritage. Friedensreich Hundertwasser started out as a painter. Since the early 1950s, however, he became focused on architecture and reading in public.’ advocating natural forms of decay. In 1972, he had his first architectural models made for the TV-show ‘Wünsch dir was', in order to demonstrate his ideas on forested roofs, "tree tenants" and the "window right" of every tenant to embellish the facade around his windows. In these models Hundertwasser developed new architectural shapes, such as the "eye-slit" house and the "high-rise meadow house". In lectures at academies and before architectural associations, Hundertwasser elucidated his concerns regarding an architecture in harmony with nature and man.
Bruno Kreisky, the federal chancellor at the time, suggested in a letter dated November 30, 1977 to Leopold Gratz, the mayor of Vienna, that Hundertwasser be given the opportunity to realize his ideas in the field of architecture by allowing him to build a housing project, whereupon Leopold Gratz, in a letter of December 15, 1977, invited Hundertwasser to create an apartment building according to his own ideas. To this end, architect Josef Krawina was invited to join the artist and to help him to put his ideas into practice. In August and September 1979, architect Krawina presented to Hundertwasser his preliminary drawings and a Styrofoam model. Hundertwasser was shocked and rejected them as representing the leveling, straight-lined modular grid against which he had fought; as his model of the “Terrace House” for Eurovision showed, he had conceptualized a quite different type of house. In the end the house was built between 1983 and 1985 according to the ideas and concepts of Hundertwasser with architect Univ.-Prof.
Joseph Krawina as a co-author and architect Peter Pelikan as a planner. It features undulating floors, a roof covered with earth and grass, large trees growing from inside the rooms, with limbs extending from windows. Hundertwasser took no payment for the design of the house, declaring that it was worth it, to prevent something ugly from going up in its place. Within the house there are 53 apartments, four offices, 16 private terraces and three communal terraces, a total of 250 trees and bushes. In 2001, twenty years after architect Krawina’s exit from the project, the firm H. B. Medienvertriebsgesellschaft mbH under its business manager Harald Böhm encouraged architect Krawina to substantiate his claim as co-creator of the “Hundertwasser House.” On March 11, 2010, after eight years of litigation, Austria's Oberster Gerichtshof ruled Josef Krawina along with Friedensreich Hundertwasser, to be co-creators of the house with the effect that it is now forbidden for the Hundertwasser Non-Profit Foundation to disseminate any illustration or replica of the house without acknowledging Krawina as co-creator.
According to the ruling, Hundertwasser was the sole spiritual creator of the building, Krawina must be recognized as a co-creator of equal standing and be paid an equal share in royalty receipts. Habarta, Gerhard. Das Hundertwasser Haus. Wien: Österreichischer Bundesverlag. Stallein, Rudi. "Hundertwasser-Bauwerke: Sehenswürdigkeiten in einem Rausch aus Farben und Formen". FAZ. NET. Retrieved 2008-11-09. Brikcius, Eugen. "Österreichische Spaziergänge". Die entzauberte Idylle: 636–646. ISBN 978-3-7001-3261-5. Retrieved December 18, 2018. Hundertwasser, Friedensreich. Taschen, Angelika, ed. Hundertwasser Architecture: for a More Humane Architecture in Harmony with Nature. Fürst, Andrea Christa. Hongkong. ISBN 9783822885642. OCLC 191258841. CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list Kommenda, Benedikt. "OGH: Hundertwasser-Haus ist auch von Josef Krawina". Die Presse. Archived from the original on January 11, 2011. Retrieved December 17, 2018. Hundertwasser House website by Hundertwasser Foundation
Niki de Saint Phalle
Niki de Saint Phalle was a French-American sculptor and filmmaker. She was one of the few women artists known for monumental sculpture, but for her commitments, she had a difficult and traumatic education, which she wrote about decades later. After an early marriage and two children, she began creating art in a experimental style, she first received worldwide attention for angry, violent assemblages, shot by firearms. These evolved into Nanas, light-hearted, colorful, large-scale sculptures of animals and female figures, her most comprehensive work was the Tarot Garden, a large sculpture garden containing numerous works ranging up to house-sized creations. Her idiosyncratic style has been called "outsider art". Throughout her creative career, she collaborated with other well-known artists such as Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, composer John Cage, architect Mario Botta, as well as dozens of less-known artists and craftspersons. For several decades, she worked closely with Swiss kinetic artist Jean Tinguely, who became her second husband.
In her years, she suffered from multiple chronic health problems attributed to repeated exposure to glass fibers and petrochemical fumes from the experimental materials she had used in her pioneering artworks, but she continued to create prolifically until the end of her life. A critic has observed that Saint Phalle's "insistence on exuberance and sensuality, her pursuit of the figurative and her bold use of color have not endeared her to everyone in a minimalist age", she was well known in Europe, but her work was little-seen in the US, until her final years in San Diego. Another critic said: "The French-born, American-raised artist is one of the most significant female and feminist artists of the 20th century, one of the few to receive recognition in the male-dominated art world during her lifetime". Marie-Agnès de Saint Phalle was born on October 29, 1930, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, near Paris, her father was Count André-Marie Fal de Saint Phalle, a French banker, her mother was an American, named Jeanne Jacqueline Harper.
Marie-Agnès was the second of five children, her double first cousin was French novelist Thérèse de Saint Phalle. Her birth was one year after Black Tuesday, the French economy was suffering in the aftermath of the infamous stock market crash that initiated the Great Depression. Within months of her birth, her father's finance company closed, her parents moved with her oldest brother to the suburbs of New York City. Around 1933, she rejoined her parents in Connecticut. In 1937, the family moved to East 88th Street in the affluent Upper East Side neighborhood of New York City. By this time, Marie-Agnès was known as "Niki", the name she would use from on. Niki grew up in a strict Catholic environment, against which she rebelled, her mother was temperamental and violent, beating the younger children, forcing them to eat if they were not hungry. Both of her younger siblings and Richard de Saint Phalle, would commit suicide as adults; the atmosphere at home was tense. Decades Niki would reveal that she had suffered years of sexual abuse from her father, starting at the age of 11.
She returned to France to visit relatives, becoming fluent in both French and American English. In 1937, she attended school at the Convent of the Sacred Heart on East 91st Street in Manhattan. After she was expelled in 1941, she rejoined her maternal grandparents, who had moved to Princeton, New Jersey, she attended the public school there, she returned to the Upper East Side and studied there at the Brearley School from 1942–1944, but was dismissed for painting in red the fig leaves on the school's classical statuary. Despite this, she would say it was there “ I became a feminist, they inculcated in us that women can and must accomplish great things.” She was enrolled in a convent school in Suffern, New York, but was expelled. She graduated from the Oldfields School in Glencoe, Maryland in 1947. During her late teenage years, Saint Phalle became a fashion model, she appeared in the pages of Elle and Harper's Bazaar. At the age of 18, Saint Phalle married Harry Mathews, whom she had first met the age of 11 through her father.
Six years they met each other by chance on a train to Princeton and soon became a couple. They had a civil ceremony on 6 June 1949 in New York City Hall. At the urging of Niki's mother, they had a religious rite at the French Church of New York the following February. Although her parents accepted the union, her husband's family objected to her Catholic background and cut them off financially, causing them to resort to occasional shoplifting, they moved to Massachusetts so Mathews could study music at Harvard University. Saint Phalle aimed to pursue a career in acting, their first child, was born in April 1951. In 1952, the small family moved to Paris, where Harry continued his studies in conducting at I’Ecole Norm
The Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is a large unfinished Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Gaudí's work on the building is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In November 2010 Pope Benedict XVI consecrated and proclaimed it a minor basilica, as distinct from a cathedral, which must be the seat of a bishop. In 1882, construction of Sagrada Família started under architect Francisco de Paula del Villar. In 1883, when Villar resigned, Gaudí took over as chief architect, transforming the project with his architectural and engineering style, combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. Gaudí devoted the remainder of his life to the project, he is buried in the crypt. At the time of his death at age 73 in 1926, when he was run down by a tram, less than a quarter of the project was complete. Relying on private donations, Sagrada Familia's construction progressed and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War. In July 1936, revolutionaries set light to the crypt and broke their way into the workshop destroying Gaudí's original plans and plaster models, which led to 16 years work to piece together the fragments of the master model.
Construction resumed to intermittent progress in the 1950s. Advancements in technologies such as computer aided design and computerised numerical control have since enabled faster progress and construction passed the midpoint in 2010. However, some of the project's greatest challenges remain, including the construction of ten more spires, each symbolising an important Biblical figure in the New Testament, it is anticipated. The basilica has a long history of dividing the citizens of Barcelona: over the initial possibility it might compete with Barcelona's cathedral, over Gaudí's design itself, over the possibility that work after Gaudí's death disregarded his design, the 2007 proposal to build a tunnel of Spain's high-speed rail link to France which could disturb its stability. Describing Sagrada Família, art critic Rainer Zerbst said "it is impossible to find a church building anything like it in the entire history of art", Paul Goldberger describes it as "the most extraordinary personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages".
The Basilica of the Sagrada Família was the inspiration of a bookseller, Josep Maria Bocabella, founder of Asociación Espiritual de Devotos de San José. After a visit to the Vatican in 1872, Bocabella returned from Italy with the intention of building a church inspired by the basilica at Loreto; the apse crypt of the church, funded by donations, was begun 19 March 1882, on the festival of St. Joseph, to the design of the architect Francisco de Paula del Villar, whose plan was for a Gothic revival church of a standard form; the apse crypt was completed before Villar's resignation on 18 March 1883, when Gaudí assumed responsibility for its design, which he changed radically. Antoni Gaudí began work on the church in 1883 but was not appointed Architect Director until 1884. On the subject of the long construction period, Gaudí is said to have remarked: "My client is not in a hurry." When Gaudí died in 1926, the basilica was between 25 percent complete. After Gaudí's death, work continued under the direction of Domènec Sugrañes i Gras until interrupted by the Spanish Civil War in 1936.
Parts of the unfinished basilica and Gaudí's models and workshop were destroyed during the war by Catalan anarchists. The present design is based on reconstructed versions of the plans that were burned in a fire as well as on modern adaptations. Since 1940 the architects Francesc Quintana, Isidre Puig Boada, Lluís Bonet i Gari and Francesc Cardoner have carried on the work; the illumination was designed by Carles Buïgas. The current director and son of Lluís Bonet, Jordi Bonet i Armengol, has been introducing computers into the design and construction process since the 1980s. Mark Burry of New Zealand serves as Executive Researcher. Sculptures by J. Busquets, Etsuro Sotoo and the controversial Josep Maria Subirachs decorate the fantastical façades. Barcelona-born Jordi Fauli took over as chief architect in 2012; the central nave vaulting was completed in 2000 and the main tasks since have been the construction of the transept vaults and apse. As of 2006, work concentrated on the crossing and supporting structure for the main steeple of Jesus Christ as well as the southern enclosure of the central nave, which will become the Glory façade.
The church shares its site with the Sagrada Família Schools building, a school designed by Gaudí in 1909 for the children of the construction workers. Relocated in 2002 from the eastern corner of the site to the southern corner, the building now houses an exhibition. Historical photographs of the Sagrada Família Chief architect Jordi Fauli announced in October 2015 that construction is 70 percent complete and has entered its final phase of raising six immense steeples; the steeples and most of the church's structure are to be completed by 2026, the centennial of Gaudí's death. Visitor entrance fees of 15–20 euros finance the annual construction budget of 25 million euros. Computer-aided design technology has been used to accelerate construction of the building. Current technology allows stone to be shaped off-site by a CNC milling machine, whereas in the 20th century the stone was carved by hand. In 2008, some renowned Catalan architects advocated halting construction, to respect Gaudí's original designs, which although they were not exhaustive and were