Gaudi; what influences his architecture

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Antoni Gaudi is one of the most original and distinctive architects the world has seen. His buildings have given Barcelona a unique aspect, and transformed the landscape, his idea’s and design explorations changed the rules of architecture, but what influenced Gaudi’s famous style? Gaudi was born in 1852 in the city of Reus in Tarragona. Antonia Cornet and Francisco Gaudi had five children, the last of which was Antonio. Gaudi’s family were artisans, and he was the first in four generations to leave the family tradition of metalworking. Gaudi’s early studies included philosophy, history, economics and aesthetics. He then went on to study architecture in 1873 under Gothic Revival architect Juan Martorell at the Escuela Tecnica Superior de Arquitectura in Barcelona. Gaudi took inspiration from the gothic, which is clearly visible in his structures, especially in the Sagrada Familia with its massive spires. Other specific influences were writings by an Englishman called John Ruskin. Ruskin conveyed to Gaudi his belief that “ornament is the origin of architecture.” Gaudi also took allot of inspiration from a book on medieval French architecture by Viollet-le-Duc. He also took from The Arts and Crafts movement and Catalan avant-garde styles, but Gaudi’s main influence came from nature. As a child and throughout life Gaudi suffered from arthritis, because of this he often went on walks to suppress his rheumatism. On his walks he would study animals, plants and natures forms, Gaudi realised that nature did not use straight lines or angled structures, but it flowed with curves. He did not copy nature as such, but included its geometry and its principles; he studied its dynamics such as the natural structures of fibrous composition, like canes, rushes and bones, as seen in the balconies on the Casa Batllo. Gaudi studied geometric shapes and realised they related closely
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