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The Gaudí 1st World Congress begins at UB

Logo of the congress.

Logo of the congress.

03/10/2014

The very first congress devoted exclusively to research on the life and work of Antoni Gaudí, the only architect who designed seven buildings chosen by UNESCO as World Heritage Site, began on Monday 6 October. The Gaudí 1st World Congress gathers around one hundred international experts at the University of Barcelona from 6 to 10 October. They will present and share their very latest discoveries, as well as those accumulated over decades of research and development. Thanks to an agreement signed by these centres, unpublished materials will be presented and available at TGRI’s headquarters, which are going to be opened during the congress and are located at the building of Tint Vell in the historical industrial enclosure of the Colonia Güell.

During the congress, different applications of Gaudí’s revolutionary method of work and his extraordinary creative inspiration in many fields —architecture, engineering, design, arts, and even business management, gastronomy, sport and health— will be analysed.

The Aula Magna of the Historic Building of UB hosts congress' sessions, but opening and closing ceremonies take place at the Paranymph Hall of the University.

 
The Colonia Güell, Gaudí’s lab

The conference is focused mainly, though not exclusively, on the Colonia Güell, an atypical industrial colony, particular for its time, which remains intact. Considering some original documents preserved by TGRI, many data concerning the design and construction of the industrial colony will be revealed. Gaudí and the group of professionals and artisans who collaborated with him turned the colony into a worldwide model.

The crypt of the Colonia Güell is the work that served Gaudí as practice for several innovative techniques and architectural materials that he used later in buildings like the Sagrada Familia. More than one hundred years ago, Gaudí placed there the workshop where his creativity exploded and he developed his amazing invent: the polyfunicular model.

Data provided by people who worked or lived together with the architect will be also presented on the congress. It helps to understand Gaudí’s revolutionary working methods. Experts will bring us into the most intimate part of the architect’s mind, so we will get closer to his system of geodesic design, know the topics that centred the conversations he hold with his friends and workers, and discover the secrets of the colours he created and how to preserve his legacy.

Moreover, the congress also shows how Gaudí was pioneer in using innovative techniques from different fields, for instance: acoustics, chromatology, logistics, cooperativism, ecology and recycling, etc. All these techniques, used in the construction of the crypt of the Colonia Güell, constitute the main topic of some speeches to be pronounced on the congress.

Besides academic and scientific sessions, the congress also includes the Gaudí Dinners at La Pedrera, a guided visit of the Colonia Güell, the opening of TGRI’s headquarters and a gala dinner with Eugeni de Diego at the theatre Fontova of the Colonia Güell.

Nowadays, the Güell Pavilions are part of the heritage of the University of Barcelona. They were selected to be included in the programme Watch 2014 of the World Monuments Fund (WMF). The personalities from UB who compose the Organizing Committee are Lourdes Cirlot, vice-rector for Institutional Relations and Culture and professor of History of Art, and Joan Ramon Triadó and Rosa Maria Subirana, professors of History of Art. It is also composed by some members of The Gaudí Research Institute: Manuel Medarde, secretary of the Colonia Guell International Committee, Pere Jordi Figuerola, curator at the Diocesan Museum of Barcelona, and Marià Marín, university lecturer of advanced studies in art, heritage and culture industries.

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