Spanish architect. Known for his flamboyant art nouveau style, his work also shows the influence of cubism and surrealism. Gaudí worked mainly in Barcelona, designing both domestic and industrial buildings. He introduced colour, unusual materials, and audacious technical innovations. His Church of the Holy Family, Barcelona (begun 1883 and still under construction) is a spectacular edifice of rough stone, mosaic, and undulating line.
Known primarily for his monumental and original approach, Gaudí placed tremendous importance on nature, expressing in his buildings a respect for the nature of the materials and an emphasis on mirroring the randomness of the natural world. His design for Casa Milá, a blocks of flats in Barcelona (begun 1905), is wildly imaginative, with an undulating facade, vertically thrusting wrought-iron balconies, and a series of sculpted shapes that protrude from the roof. The central feature of his Parque Güell (1900–14) in Barcelona is a snakelike seat faced with a mosaic of broken tiles and cutlery.
Gaudí was born in Reus, Catalonia, and studied at the School of Architecture in Barcelona 1874–78. Breaking with the rigid forms and straight lines of traditional architecture, Gaudí chose wavy lines, rounded surfaces, and irregular spaces. His originality won him the patronage of industrialist Eusebio Güell. In 1883 Gaudí was appointed head architect in the building of the Church of the Holy Family in Barcelona. The church's free-form adornment, surprising texture, dynamic towers, and distinct disregard of traditional structure, epitomize Gaudí's expressive style. His work laid the foundations for the emergence of a new and profoundly independent form of 20th-century architecture.
Gaudí, Antonio Church of the Holy Family