During the Spanish Civil War in 1936, most of Gaudi's models were burned. Several pieces have been saved and restored, while the bright white was replaced using drawings and photographs of the original models that were also saved.
This model was big enough to walk through!
Gaudi used inverted hanging models to design many of curves, angles, and arches. He used string and little sandbags, and the natural effect of gravity to achieve perfect towers, once flipped over, of course.
It is amazing the amount of math and complex figures that are integrated into the design. For example, here is an excerpt describing one of the main interior columns: "In the lower half, the rectangle becomes a square, then an octagon, and ends in a circle. The four upper columns start in a square and end in a circle to go on to link up continuously with the vaults." And this was a fairly understandable one!
While the models were interesting, I enjoyed the drawings most. There was a collection of some Gaudi drawings for other projects which were quite beautiful. I liked the use of color within the detail.
When we left it was dark outside, so we got to see it lit up again. It was a rather strange day, starting out with extreme minimalism at The Pavilion, then going straight to one of the most opulent structures in existence. Quite a mind jump.
(photos by e.hunt)