A decade of the Gaudí World Congress

The Gaudí World Congress (GWC) celebrates its tenth anniversary, marking a decade of architectural excellence and innovation. Since 2014, the GWC has brought together renowned experts and enthusiasts in iconic locations like Astorga’s Episcopal Palace and Barcelona’s Palau Güell, fostering a deeper understanding of Gaudí’s revolutionary techniques and artistic vision.

Celebrating ten years of architectural excellence and innovation

Since 2014, the Gaudí World Congress (GWC) has served as a beacon for enthusiasts, architects, and innovators. Over six editions in the last ten years, this event has become a hub for inspiring speeches, meaningful conversations, and long-lasting encounters, where Gaudí’s apprentices re-discover existing works and learn to see what nobody has seen before. Our mission is to share Gaudí’s knowledge with the world, fostering a deeper understanding of his innovative techniques and artistic vision.

Throughout these years, the GWC has hosted a plethora of renowned experts, including Dr. Juan José Lahuerta, an authority on Gaudí’s architectural innovations, and architect Mark Burry, known for his work on the Sagrada Família. Historians like Dr. George Collins and contemporary architects such as Benedetta Tagliabue have also provided their insights, emphasizing a multidisciplinary approach to understanding Gaudí’s impact.

During these years, the GWC chose special locations to host the congress, ensuring that the venues themselves could inspire the events. The historic and iconic locations included Astorga’s Episcopal Palace, Barcelona’s Palau Güell and Casa Milà (La Pedrera), and various historic buildings in Shanghai.

We want to remember some of those editions, such as the third one that took place in 2018 in Astorga at the Episcopal Palace. This event showcased unpublished research about Gaudí’s buildings, combining historical studies with modern interpretations. The congress then moved to Barcelona for a special edition in collaboration with the Kairos Society. This gathering brought together over 250 entrepreneurs and 75 global leaders to discuss originality and innovation, addressing Europe’s pressing challenges through the lens of Gaudí’s legacy.

In 2016, the GWC sessions held in Barcelona and Shanghai provided a deep dive into Gaudí’s life and works. In Barcelona, presentations by experts explored contemporary applications of his techniques, complemented by specialized tours of Park Güell and Torre Bellesguard. The Shanghai edition emphasized the influence of Chinese culture on Gaudí, with forums on urban sustainable development and innovation in construction, broadcasted across the Asia-Pacific region.

The inaugural congress in 2014, held in Barcelona, focused on the church at Colònia Güell. This first edition was very special, presenting new studies, documents, and works about Gaudí, establishing the foundations for future congresses. It highlighted his revolutionary methods and their application in contemporary architecture, setting a high standard for subsequent events.

Historic and iconic locations

Designed by Gaudí and one of his few works outside Catalonia, Astorga’s Episcopal Palace is a neo-Gothic masterpiece completed in 1915. The palace’s unique design features and historical significance made it an ideal location for the congress. It now serves as a museum dedicated to Gaudí’s life and works, providing a rich context for discussions about his architectural impact and lesser-known projects. Located in the heart of Barcelona, Palau Güell was built between 1886 and 1888 for industrial tycoon Eusebi Güell. The Palau showcases Gaudí’s innovative use of space and light and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its grandeur and historical value offered an inspiring setting for the GWC, highlighting Gaudí’s contributions to modernist architecture. Casa Milà, or La Pedrera, constructed between 1906 and 1912, is renowned for its undulating stone facade and wrought-iron balconies. Hosting the GWC here allowed participants to experience Gaudí’s visionary design firsthand, in a building that continues to influence architects around the world.

As we celebrate a decade of the Gaudí World Congress, we look forward to continuing this journey of discovery and innovation. Future editions promise more groundbreaking research, inspiring conversations, and a deeper appreciation of Gaudí’s genius. Join us in celebrating the past and shaping the future of architecture and design.

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