During my son’s architecture degree at Melbourne university, we would often go to the city to draw buildings. Quick freehand sketches with variable line widths, light and dark lines to describe how a structure sits within its’ landscape creates freedom of thought. I call them ‘mud maps’ which is an Australian term originally relating to drawing a map in the mud to give directions to travellers, a hand drawn map; it’s a raw image ‘a fleeting interpreted thought, translated as a raw line capturing a moment of creativity. There is beauty and sensitivity in the freedom of these drawings.
At university during life drawing classes our ten minute drawings compared to one or two hour drawings revealed these quick drawings had more expression in the linework than the laboured lines of the longer drawings. A language quick to communicate and deliver thoughts, concepts, feelings through sensuous line.
Antoni Gaudi’s concept drawings for Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona display a fluid organic beauty. These images can, through todays’ digital tools, capture the tremor of the hand and interpret the unique essence of mark making.
I visited the site over a year ago and while waiting in the very long line to enter his building, I was intrigued with the craftsmen working close by over the fence. I noticed the huge bauble decorations
destined to perch on each tower were made of acrylic. The towers with todays’ new weightless materials probably solved load bearing structural problems from the build last century.
Gaudi’s concept was the basis for this construction years after his death and the final phase is scheduled for completion in 2026 to coincide with the centennial of the architects’ death.