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  • Kai Bradner

Architecture: The Mind of An Artist

The things we create leave lasting impressions far after we are gone. One of the great beauties of art is that it is subjective and free of suffocation; no matter who or what we have done, our art still stands undisputed. Architecture as an art form serves as the medium for the artist's mind, we create what we think and we think what we feel– a great example being the work of Antoni Gaudí. Gaudi was a Catalan architect known for his great work which includes the church of the Sagrada Família; a sprawling basilica that even to these days remains unfinished. The Sagrada Familia sits in the Eixample district in Barcelona, with construction first beginning in March of 1882. Gaudi combined gothic and romanesque architectural techniques with Art Nouveau or Modernisme, as it is known in Catalan. The use of Flying buttresses and long pointed arches reminds the viewer of other famous gothic pieces of the time. Gaudi was driven in life by his religious passions, he was a devoted catholic, and his religious influences can be seen in this larger-than-life artistic output. Gaudi found peace in spirituality and the Sagrada Familia embodies this as it takes the shape of other marvelous catholic churches throughout the world.

Continuing down this path we are taken to a more contemporary architect: Frank Lloyd Wright is the mastermind behind some of the most adventurous designs. Viewing Fallingwater for the first time immediately catches the attention of the viewer. Wright created a mutualistic relationship between nature and humanity. Wright himself was enthralled with the idea of connecting humanity and nature, he believed in a philosophy of organic architecture. Those who follow organic architecture believe in the harmony of our world and within Wright’s work, this idea is exemplified. In Fallingwater, the greeny feels a part of the house, almost like they grew together, and watered together.

Now we venture into the northern Lands of Mother Russia, Nikolai Petrovich Sutyagin, a Russian criminal mastermind, and his family began construction of a house commonly called Count Dracula’s palace or the gangster’s house. Sutyagain’s house sits 144 feet tall, reigning as one of the tallest wooden buildings in the world. The house itself appears to be an unorganized mess but as you further examine the creation of Sutyagin you can see a glimpse into his headspace at the time, being on the run and living a life of crime Sutyagin’s life was not of peace and just like his house it was in a constant of motion, remodels and additions were always in progress. The house itself looked like a combination of smaller buildings like they are all sitting on top of one another. Sutyagin was also inspired after traveling around the world and seeing great pieces of architecture, which he mainly inspired by gothic architecture, causing his house to grow with imagination and reach incredible heights.

All three of these architectures have used their gifts to create art that represents their mind, feelings, and emotions. We create reflections of what we are and each of these buildings has a part of their creator whose personality is imprinted on their work, inspiring countless other artists to explore their identities on a deeper, more personal level. Wright’s work emphasizes the need for environmental change, a need for a change in our relationship with nature. FallingWater is an example of how we can work with our environment, nature grows with us and does not need to be destroyed or moved but preserved. Wright and others who follow organic architecture are creating political pieces further the fight for the future of our shared planet. Sutyagin’s house challenges the way society views art, Sutyagin created a home unlike another, sticking out like a sore thumb, instead of assimilating to the ordinary he decides to build something individualized. Just like his house, our art does not have to be “normal” we should be able to express ourselves no matter the circumstances, even when we are on the run. Gaudi put his faith on full display with large sprawling gothic architecture. Gaudi is buried within the Sagrada Familia. Buried in a place where found strength for his beliefs, Art is a physical manifestation of our emotions, and Gaudi’s work calls us to embrace the emotions and use them to create.


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