The image of the Sagrada Familia that we have in mind will begin to change. Antoni Gaudí‘s iconic temple faces the final decade of its construction and in the next five years will not only have a completely different shape to the one we know, but will almost double its height and will become the tallest building in Barcelona: A skyscraper of 172 meters and a half with six central towers that will culminate “Gaudí’s will to go to the sky”, in the words of the chief architect of the temple, Jordi Faulí.
Next month Faulí’s team will begin to lift the six new central towers – dedicated to Jesus Christ, the Virgin and the four evangelists – that will gradually surpass the current pillars to over 70 meters in height. The construction will be done with a new architectural technique that has been tested in other works, but never in one of such size and height as the Sagrada Familia.
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Stone skin and metallic skeleton
In the time of Gaudí the temples were constructed placing one stone on top of another. But to finish the central towers of the Sagrada Familia architects will test a new system of stone panels, about 19 meters high by 14 meters wide and W and M. They will be built at the foot of the street, Crane, will be placed by levels – creating three triangular windows in the interior – and will be mated in height with concrete. They will not be just stone. To make them “withstand the wind and earthquakes, as marked by current regulations,” the panels will have a metallic skeleton that will prevent them from swinging by the action of the wind and make them more resilient, according to Faulí.
For five years, until 2022, the cranes will fit the 800 panels that will be needed to lift the six towers inside the metal pillars that will shape the structure of the towers. Although the idea of ”lightness” of the new structures, each of the panels will weigh between 1 and 24 tons. The first to be placed are those of the Virgin, which will be topped with blue stripes. The color of this tower will be the exception. The other five, including the highest, will wear red touches, one of predominant tones already in the temple of Gaudí. The great central tower of Jesus Christ, which will be the highest and also the widest of the six, will be crowned by a great cross, although this element will probably be placed beyond 2026, the year in which the Architectural construction “of the Sagrada Familia temple. The artistic decoration, as recognized by the chief architect of the temple, will last a few more years.
The skyscraper of Gaudí
The six new towers will begin to grow from the core of the temple next month. During the next year Faulí’s team plans to raise seven levels of the tower of the Virgin and three of the evangelists. But until 2018 the constructions will not be visible by the citizens from the street. From this moment the profile of the monument will change progressively, and with it will the skyline of Barcelona. From that year the tower of Jesus Christ will raise the first three levels, the Virgin will reach the thirteen and the evangelists at eight.
The six towers will end in 2022. The Virgin will have 140 meters, those of the evangelists 135 meters and that of Jesus Christ 172.5 meters, well above the little more than a hundred meters that have the 12 lateral towers today.
The facade of Glory
The most distant work is the facade of Glory, which will begin in 2022. According to Faulí, the foundations “are set” and the forecast is to be able to do it in four years. Accessibility, however, will depend on the urban reconfiguration of Mallorca street, where the large access ramp should be lifted. The architect has recognized that for the moment there is “no dialogue” with the City Council of Ada Colau for this project, which in any case will be done in the long term.
So far the sacristy and the upper porch of the Passion facade – with 18 interior columns – have been completed, the doors of the Nativity facade and the south portal of Hope. The construction of the Sagrada Familia costs 25 million euros each year, which is financed with temple visits -3,722,540 last year-.
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