George M. Groutas/Flickr

An architectural masterpiece 150 years in the making.

La Sagrada Familia, the ongoing masterpiece of famous architect Antoni Gaudí, has been under construction for nearly 150 years.

Construction on this elaborate Roman Catholic church dates back to 1866. Gaudí took over in 1883 and began dedicating himself exclusively to building the Sagrada Familia in 1914. When Gaudí died in 1926, only one bell tower had been erected and the structure was only 25 percent done. When the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936, a fire destroyed original plans, drawings, photographs and scaled models, but according to Fast.Co Design, Gaudí did leave behind some crucial geometric-based rules for constructing the rest of the church. Construction resumed in 1939 and the structure has been rising slowly ever since.

Recent technology like CNC-milled stone and 3D-scanning has sped up the construction process and has also allowed the architects to give us an alluring status update. The video below, produced from a mix of helicopter footage and computer-animated renderings, visualizes what the masterpiece will look like upon completion in 2026. What's another 13 years when we've already given up 150? After all, Gaudí did once say:

There is no reason to regret that I cannot finish the church. I will grow old but others will come after me. What must always be conserved is the spirit of the work, but its life has to depend on the generations it is handed down to and with whom it lives and is incarnated.

Top image: George M. Groutas on Flickr 

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