The Sagrada Família began its path of innovation and transformation under Gaudí, two centuries ago. In fact, he was the one to promote the use of three-dimensional representations in designing the Temple, as well as geometry as the base of his architecture and the use of recycled materials, plus a long etcetera that we still use at the Temple.
Now, every year, the Basilica welcomes more than 4.5 million visitors, holds over 20 cultural events and 60 masses, and has more than 25 different construction projects under way. And all in the same space. All of these things would be hard to juggle, but we manage to do it thanks to the tradition of innovation, creativity and technology Gaudí left us. These bring us many advantages.
One of them is the precision on the building site that comes from using a system called industry 4.0, which controls the process of assembling the various pieces that make up each panel on the central towers we are currently building. It is important to remember that the various prefabricated elements being used to build the Sagrada Família are made at a work centre the Sagrada Família has in Gaià, 80 kilometres from Barcelona. The industry 4.0 system consists in using sensors on each building piece to automatically control the process from beginning to end: from drying the resins at the right temperature (8 hours at 22 °C and 24 hours at 40 °C) to the hardness and tension of the steel rods that hold the panels together.
Another type of technology being used at the temple, which saves us time, is virtual reality. Today, the Sagrada Família uses the most advanced systems in the world to help its team of architects working on the final designs for Gaudí’s project. This way, the model they are developing can be sent to the virtual-reality glasses at any given time. The system creates a virtual view of the 3D model the architect is working on and they can see it in the virtual reality glasses in under two minutes. This allows the architects to quickly check the volume, geometry, texture or light on a specific element they are designing, which mean they can make decisions quickly and safely.
These are just two examples of how the Sagrada Família is using technology to help us make Antoni Gaudí’s dream come true in 2026. Plus, this use of technology won us an award at the 24th Nit de les Telecomunicacions, recognising the innovation, creativity and technology that goes into building and managing the Temple. As a result of this award, we made a video summing up the technology we use at the Sagrada Família, and that helps us juggle construction with cultural events and religious celebrations. Press play and find out more!