The Bartlett School of Architecture


Public Lecture – Completing Gaudí’s Sagrada Família

11 November 2019, 6:30 pm–8:00 pm

La Sagrada Familia, under construction.

Tristram Carfrae, Deputy Chairman of Arup, discusses the history of the Sagrada Família and the design and construction of the six main towers, which are the highest points of the Basilica.

This event is free.

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The Bartlett School of Architecture


JZ Young Lecture Theatre, G29
Medical Sciences and Anatomy Building
Gower Street
United Kingdom

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The Sagrada Família has been under construction several times since the 19th Century with a new addition now due for completion in 2026. The current design team have adopted a new system using pre-stressed stone panels, marrying new digital methods and traditional craftsmanship to dramatically reduce the weight, cost and time needed to complete the Basilica. 

In this presentation Tristram describes how this new technique evolved, including initial ideas, virtual prototyping, analysis, physical testing, production and assembly.


Tristram Carfrae is a leading structural designer, and Deputy Chairman of Arup. He has collaborated with world-renowned architects including Renzo Piano, Normal Foster, Philip Cox, Richard Rogers, and Thomas Heatherwick. 

Tristam has a reputation for challenging accepted methodologies and has contributed to the design of numerous award-winning buildings, including the Water Cube for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the Helix Bridge in Singapore.
In 2014, Tristram was awarded the prestigious Gold Medal of the Institution of Structural Engineers, given to an individual for exceptional and outstanding contributions to the advancement of structural engineering. In 2006 he was appointed a Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) by the RSA and later became Master of the Faculty of RDIs in 2017.


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