Spanish Architect Antoni Gaudi


Gaudi written by Maria Antonietta Crippa and edited by Peter Gössel

Published by Taschen in 2003 (English Paperback Edition, 96 pages)








This book report briefly examines the book Gaudi (by Maria Antonietta Crippa, 2003).

In the first part, there is a background information of the book -more precisely, very short knowledge of the author and the editor.

Next part frames a quick review of the book, under the title of “abstract”. After that, you will be experiencing the summary which was concsituted by the notes (taken throughout the reading session) by the writer of this report. The summary speficially depicts the life story of Gaudi and how his life formed his architectural style.

Last part is the conclusion, in which the writer gives personal ideas on the book and the author in general.

Total outline of the report is made out of those four basic topics.

This report was created in parallel with the outlines of Concordia University on book report writing and it covers all points that are required.

Reference link:


The author Maria Antonietta Crippa is History of Architecture professor at the Politecnico University in Milan from the Department of Architecture and Planning of the School of Architecture. She has been publishing about architecture and town planning for approximately fourthy years.

The Editor Peter Gössel has an agency in the scope of museum and exhibition design. He has worked on monographs of Julius Shulman, R. M. Schindler, John Lautner and Richard Neutra before. Also he took a part in some architecture titles in the Basit Art series of Taschen Publishing.


Gaudi (by Maria Antonietta Crippa, 2003) is an biographical book for Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi. The book includes both the story of his life, and the information about his projects. There are so many photographs and drawings in the book which help reader to extend their imagination. The aim of the book is not only introducing the architect itself, but also examine his works throughly with the perspective of the author who has been highly concerned, besides publishing books about that particular major (architecture) since the early 1980s. The texts were enriched by magnificent photographs, technical drawings and sketches. Thus, it becomes easier to the reader to understand further about his style and goals.

The outlines of the book as follow:


El Capricho

Finca Güell

Casa Vicens

Palau Güell

Collegi de les Teresianes

Palacio Episcopal

Casa Fernandez y Andres

Casa Calvet

Cripto de lo Colonia Güell

Villa Bellesguard

Park Güell

Catedral de Mallorca

Casa Batllo

Casa Mila

Classrooms of the Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

Life and Works


Antoni Gaudi was born in 1852 -the time Industrial Revolution was modifying the structures both in terms of social and architectural. As cities was growing rapidly, the situation emerged a need for new types of buildings -especially residental ones. This fact will affect his goals about architecture in a way that his desire will become to seize the best parts of the past since the city he was born -also the rest of the Europe- was modernizing.

Back to young Gaudi, raised by a coppersmith father which is the reason he had often spent time in family workshop. In those times he discovered his admiration to solid volumes of pans and gradual forms of alembics -which are highly related with his line of vision of spatial relationship of the objects.

As a youth, Gaudi was a great observer of nature: forms of trees, animals and etc. Those observations will shape his ideology of “nature to architecture” in the upcoming years. He didn’t use ordinary outlines and boring colors that had been used before. Nature had more than that and this should be giving him the courage to dare using bold colors and unsual usage of material and form. For instance, his work Casa Vicens (1883-1888, Barcelona) attracts the attention with the fact that it is one of the early examples of Neo-Mudejar style. He used several types of materials (such as iron, glass, concrete and ceramic -overtones of modern architecture) and very vibrant colors in this project. Those flowing forms of the columns that almost recalls tree trunks and ceramic tiles that shines as like scaly skin of a reptile… The overall look is very unique and therefore, it pleasures the eye of the observer.

By the way, his “unusual” style was well received by the majority of public. His style also helped putting Barcelona into the spotlight, his works give a title and uniqueness to the city that he loved sincerely. What is more his works became an icon that inspires many other artists and designers.

Another proof that he got by the short hairs is one of the most significant project of him: La Sagrada Familia. Which is a basilica project that have never been able to be finished. The construction was started with the help of the folks in 1883 and it is still on process. The reason why it takes that much time to build is the complex architectural style of Gaudi himself. The process still goes on with the six hundred number volunteers per day. But even with the today’s technology, seems that, it is hard to complete the construction in near future. However it is planned that the construction will be finished no later than 2026 (hundredth anniversary of Gaudi’s death).

It also should be noted that the columns of the internal structure of the La Sagrada Familia were designed as like brachiation of trees. So, the one experiences the feeling of walking through a forest as he/she walks in the basilica. This, again, a beautiful example of what was remained from the observation of nature that he had started in his earlies.

To be concluded, Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi was really passionate about his profession. This passion and his social environment helped him to create his own architectural style which becamed a source of inspiration to many. Furthermore, his style made him loved by the society and they supported his works. Last but not the least, what had Industrial Revolution brought and his personal conditions on his earlies have a huge impression on his architectural style.


As conclusion, I believe that the auther Crippa had done very successful job with this outstanding book. The ideas and goals of the architect Gaudi was explored by means of his childhood that runs into Industrial Revolution. The author relates this critical information with his projects so that the reader would understand how his background had shaped his architectural style. That is the reason why I think that this book is one of the prominents in its field.

The author was used a pure and simple language that is easily understandable for me. I found the book successful in this respect, too. The statements were strong and effective. Time to time, the author was supported her ideas with other texts that written by various authors.

All in all, I think this book is very helpful for architecture students -or anyone who have an interest for architecture actually. They will get benefit from explenations of the author which are mostly written in the simpliest form of the language.