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Architect of Imagination



NorthSouth Books

(pub.6.7.2022) 40 pages

Author: Susan B. Katz

Illustrator: Linda Schwalbe

Character: Antoni Gaudi


"Colorful mosaics, playful flowing forms, imaginative facades—Barcelona shines with the buildings of Antoni Gaudí. How did the son of a Catalan blacksmith become a world-famous architect? The first years of Gaudí's life were challenging. Because of an illness, young Gaudí couldn’t attend school and was often alone. Many of his days were spent out in nature, which he would later call his great teacher. Even during his training as an architect in Barcelona, his teachers were puzzled, wondering: is he a 'genius or a fool?' Many considered his unusual ideas eccentric, sometimes even crazy. But Gaudí was simply ahead of his time. His buildings are now a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site."

Tantalizing taste:

" Exploring the curvy, cobblestone streets in the village, he watched the world with keen eyes. Gaudi noticed that everything in nature curved: from snails' shells to mountaintops, from a bird's breast to the shadow of tree branches. He began to appreciate the beauty in curved lines. With 'nature as his teacher,'' as he said, Antoni realized that bent did not mean broken."

And something more: The note at the back of the book explains that "To this day, Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia (the Sacred Family) Cathedral is the most visited monument in all of Spain, but because he didn't leave any plans, La Sagrada Cathedral is constantly under construction. Many Catalonian people believe that it will never truly be finished since nobody knows exactly how Gaudi wanted it to be." When I visited the Cathedral years ago, it was surrounded by scaffolding -- interesting to think of work continuing there with "an endless array of marvels," as Gaudi called them.


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