These are the plans that were published in La Vanguardia newspaper this week showing the different options being considered for the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. The basilica is due to be completed in 2026 and the final phase of the construction includes building the main façade. Unfortunately, there's a block of buildings right in front of that façade. For years there have been rumours about what will happen to those buildings and to the people who live there but nothing has ever been confirmed.
The options that appeared in La Vanguardia include pulling down two whole blocks to make way for the entrance, a park, an underground car park and a shopping arcade (option 5). There are several variations on the same idea including the option to leave things as they are (option 2 - not likely). The biggest surprise was seeing Gaudí's original (in both senses of the word) idea of creating a four-pointed star-shaped area around the basilica, allowing it to be seen from the most dramatic angles (option 7). The newspaper encouraged people to vote for their preferred option and on the first day a majority chose Gaudí's idea.
The other amazing thing about Gaudí's idea is that it saves our flat from being demolished. Over the years, I've occasionally written letters to newspapers complaining about the way in which the construction of the Sagrada Familia has affected those of us who live in its shadow. The 'patronat' who oversee the building have never shown any interest in having a dialogue with their neighbours or in sharing their plans for the future.
Judging from the work that's been done to the basilica over recent years, I doubt if Gaudí's wishes will be respected. The need to accommodate the tourists, souvenir shops and restaurants is bound to take preference.
My brother-in-law, Michael Duncan, made the drawing below which neatly shows how our home is on the point of being devoured by the Sagrada Familiasoros. It'll be interesting to see when a representative of the Sagrada Familia will finally acknowledge that people have their homes here and have lived here for 30+ years. A cynic might think that they're waiting for us to abandon all hope... or die. Merry Christmas!