The Nativity Facade of the Sagrada Família, in 3D

The UPC’s Virtual Innovation in Modelling Architecture and the City Laboratory (VIMAC) has participated in creating a digital model of the elevation of the Nativity Facade of the Expiatory Church of the Holy Family (Sagrada Família). The project was led by the assistant architect of the Sagrada Família, David Puig Bermejo. The study will be used to analyse the state of the facade and will form the basis for future studies that will determine the pathologies to be taken into account in the restoration.

Apr 05, 2018

The VIMAC at the Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB) has made an architectural model of the facade that includes the interior of the Sagrada Família’s portico, which was for many years exposed to the elements and was rehabilitated during work on the church’s roof in 2010. The project is coordinated by UPC professor Pilar García Almirall, director of the VIMAC, together with the VIMAC’s technical coordinator, Juan Corso Sarmiento.

The scanning of the Nativity Facade and the completion of all the studies that are under way will improve knowledge of this facade, one of the oldest parts of the church, which has been declared a world architectural heritage site by UNESCO.

The work was carried out by several expert teams under the instruction of the technical staff of the Sagrada Família using advanced laser scanning, photogrammetry and topography methods.

To gain access to all parts of the facade despite its great height, the team used high-precision equipment on platforms and cameras hung from the cranes used in the construction of the church. With the combination of all these techniques, the technical teams at the VIMAC, the spin-off HEMAV and TECCAT were able to obtain a high-precision three-dimensional cloud point model of the facade. This model allows the experts to study the architectural geometry and gives a detailed view of its current state of conservation. In addition, it will be a reference for the conservation, rehabilitation, maintenance, renovation and dissemination of the building.

The EPSEB’s Materials and Quality Control Laboratory and the ETSAV’s Architectural Innovation and Technology Laboratory are also carrying out studies of the specific types of materials used in the facade.

Architecture, heritage and urbanism

The VIMAC is a technological benchmark at the ETSAB. It uses the most advanced technology and methodologies to carry out innovation projects in the fields of architecture, heritage and urban planning, including digital geo-information systems, digital cartography, topography, terrestrial laser scanning and photogrammetry. With these techniques they make maps, plans, 3D models and interactive applications based on the processing of parametrised georeferenced information for the visualisation of historical, heritage, architectural and urban elements.

The Laboratory has extensive experience in drawing up architectural documentation on landmark and historical buildings and urban areas, and also in carrying out urban and territorial studies.