Gaudi vs Medieval Architects

Topics: Architect

The 13th and 14tth century architects and the 19th-century architect Antoni Gaudi had a similar purpose in mind when designing their Cathedrals. They both wanted visitors to get closer to God when they went into the church. However, their approaches were different. The 13/114th-century architects wanted to get the visitors closer to God through the use of light (IntSchoolHistory). They used stained glass windows to bring in light (IntSchoolHistory). It created the spiritual effect of bringing different tones of light into the building.

They also built their cathedrals to express their devotion to their faith (Cathedral Building in the Middle Ages). Gaudi did want to get visitors closer to God, but he did it differently. He wanted to tell the story of the Catholic faith (CBSNewsOnline.). His Cathedral, the Sagrada Familia has sculptures everywhere that tell different Bible stories (CBSNewsOnline.). It is also more modern in design, using forms in nature and different colors than the Gothic style (“Sagrada Família, Barcelona.


So why are these two approaches differ, yet overall had the same goal? The 13/14th-century architects may have taken the approach to bring more light in because the previous cathedrals were in the Romanesque style, which did not allow the use of large windows. Cathedrals were dark because of the use of barrel vaults (IntSchool History). So to bring light in was a great achievement. Also, the 13th/14th century was during the time of the Middle Ages when Catholicism was very prevalent. So they wanted to show their faith and be proud of it (“Cathedral building in the middle ages”).

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Gaudi’s design was made in the late 1800s in Barcelona. During that time was the Industrial age and Gaudi saw his country becoming less and less Catholic. So he wanted to restore the people’s Catholic faith (“Sagrada Família, Barcelona). He decided to do this by making a building that told the stories of the faith and reminded people what it was about. This is why there were two different approaches to building cathedrals during these periods.

Gaudi’s cathedral uses the design principle of emphasis. There are large sculptures around the building that tell the Catholic stories. It also uses unity. Everything in the cathedral is being used for the same theme-binging people closer to God. The 13/14th 14th-century draws also use unity becausegives a spiritual feel. It also uses variety, because of the different styles of stained glass windows and colors. Proportion is different in Gaudi’s cathedral than in the 13/14th-century cathedrals because Gaudi’s set is the largest (CBSNewsOnline.). Both use the ance in their deidesigncause buildings need to be balanced to ensure strength. Both do that through the use of flying buttresses’ facades.

The cathedrals also use visual elements. The GothGothic-stylehedrals focused on bringing light in. So they used the stained glass windows to achieve this. It also uses shape, again with the windows being all sorts of different shapes. Space is also used to create large open worship areas. Gaudi’s design used shape, but with the shape of the sculptures around the building. Unlike the Gothic style, Gaudi’s design used different colors to bring out the cathedral. It also used space to create large open arched areas. This his ow cathedrals used the visual elements.


  1. CBSNewsOnline. “God’s Architect: Antoni Gaudi’s Glorious Vision.”YouTube. YouTube, 10 Mar. 2013. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.
  2. “Cathedral Building in the Middle Ages.” – Durham World Heritage Site. N.P., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.
  3. IntSchool History. “David Macaulay – Gothic Cathedrals.” YouTube. YouTube, 03 Apr. 2011. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.
  4. “Sagrada Família, Barcelona.” A View On Cities. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.

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Gaudi vs Medieval Architects. (2022, Jun 18). Retrieved from

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