Gaudí made a detailed study of the main examples of Gothic cathedrals. The evolution of his project for La Sagrada Família cannot be understood with the desire to overcome all the defects he found in the Gothic structural system, mainly the following:
a) Shifting of the loads to exterior elements (buttresses and flying buttresses), more exposed and more vulnerable, considered by Gaudí the "crutches" of the Gothic building.
b) Excessively complex and fragile structural web. The demolition of one part can bring about the ruin of the whole building.
c) Light wooden roofs, excessively vulnerable to fire, damp, xylophagous insects...
Gaudí's contributions to going beyond the Gothic can be summarised as:
a) Double roof of stone, to give the building long life.
b) Verticalisation of the whole project, verticalisation of the forces and reduction of the horizontal thrusts. He thus achieves the total suppression of the structural elements that were exposed to the exterior.
c) Inclined columns branching like trees.
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BEYOND THE GOTHIC
THE TREE STRUCTURE
THE CALCULATIONS OF LA SAGRADA FAMÍLIA