April 28, 2016
One hundred and thirty four years after the first stone was laid, Antoni Gaudí’s magnificent basilica, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is approaching the final stages of construction. Nickel-containing stainless steel is playing an important role in this extraordinary structure.
Gaudí, a committed Roman Catholic, was himself relaxed about the time taken for his massive edifice to be built saying “The work of the Sagrada Familia progresses slowly because the master of this work is in no great hurry,” referring to his ‘client,’ God.
Completion is scheduled for 2026, to coincide with the centenary of the architect’s death. When completed, the 18 towers of the Sagrada Familia will reach heights from 94 to 172 meters and nickel-containing stainless steel is an important structural component. Selected because of its high strength, exceptional corrosion resistance and reduced life cycle costs, stainless steel rebar, machined components and plasma-cut plate products are being supplied by Outokumpu. Alloy 2304 (UNS S32304) and Alloy 2205 (S32205) nickel-containing duplex stainless steels have been selected as cost-efficient and long lasting solutions for the demanding structures.
Six new towers have still to be added to the structure, the highest of which will make the basilica Europe’s tallest religious building. While it’s impossible to estimate how much the construction of the
Sagrada Familia has amounted to over its lifetime, the annual costs of construction and maintenance are currently around €25 million a year, funded by the three million annual visitors to the site and private donors.
The Sagrada Familia is without doubt a controversial piece of architecture. Inspired by the Christian scriptures and nature, it is constructed from sandstone, granite and reinforced concrete. Built to last, nickel-containing stainless steel is playing its part.