Sagrada Familia and the Importance of Deadlines

I remember (way) back in architectural history class, the Sagrada Familia was one of those projects that we were amazed at the scope and unique nature of it, and then when we learned the legacy of construction our minds were a little blown.

Fast forward a couple decades, and the basilica hadn’t completely left my brain, but it was certainly stuck way back in the recesses. Until I found myself in Barcelona for a quick trip. You can’t not see Gaudi while you are there. I have a hard time putting my finger on any other architect who has had such an impact on the style and culture and feel of a whole city they way he did on Barcelona.

Seems like Gaudi and his never ending project have become more prominent recently. A fantastic video visualizing the completion of the towers is finding its way around the web, and rightfully so.

I was overwhelmed with the design of the church; the interiors (especially early in the morning) are breathtaking, and the iconic towers fill you with both a sense of whimsy and wonder at the same time. But I had no idea the scope of the completed project until I saw this video. It’s monumental and when (if) it wraps up, I need to find a way back to Barcelona to check it out.

At this point, the construction is a labor of love, and it needs to be completed, but of course no story of the Sagrada Familia is complete without mentioning how long it has taken. While we can do amazing things, we really need to keep an eye on that gantt chart.

I keep this photo that I took on the wall in my office:

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First off, I like reminiscing about the trip. It’s not a great photo, but it’s a different look at the project that you rarely see. It reminds me about detailing, and working with volumes, and light, and space, and all that stuff that they talk to you about in architecture school, but really only hits home when you experience a space like this one.

I also keep it on my wall to remind me about deadlines. Deadlines, like them or not, are important. People need to get stuff done, and a lot of times those people are relying on me, and probably you. Even if you are not in a billable position, give yourself a deadline and try to stick to it.

Sorry for the sidetrack. We’ll get back to geeky stuff next time. Thanks for indulging me.

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