WE SAY GOODBYE TO JORDI BONET ARMENGOL, THE MAN BEHIND CONTINUING THE WORK ON THE SAGRADA FAMÍLIA
Jordi Bonet Armengol (1925-2022) died on 20 June. An architect atypical of his generation and a contemporary of Oriol Bohigas, Bonet Armengol distinguished himself by having a broad and extensive career that included a myriad of buildings of varying types, in which a single work stands out. He will forever be the architect who gave the definitive push to finish Antoni Gaudí's Sagrada Família.
Bonet Armengol, born in Barcelona in 1925, graduated as an architect in 1949 and obtained his doctorate in 1965, after serving as Director-General for Artistic Heritage in the Generalitat de Catalunya (1981-1984). Son of Lluís Bonet Garí, the architect who, together with Isidre Puig Boada, Domènec Sugrañes and Francesc Quintana, continued work on the church after the Spanish Civil War disaster, Bonet Armengol inherited the commission, building more than all his predecessors combined after completing the heroic feat of reconstructing the original project. It was in 1985 when he joined the team that directed the work on the Sagrada Família basilica, a task he carried out until 2012.
An indefatigable organiser, he did not content himself with reworking it on a theoretical level: he laid the foundations for the feasibility of the project, raised funds, contributed to its worldwide symbolic character and finally completed the main hall of the project. Bonet Armengol may not have been able to see the finished building from the outside, but he was able to see it from the inside.
He was a very well-rounded architect: his career led him to build houses, industrial buildings and remarkably unique structures such as the Pau Casals Auditorium in El Vendrell, located in the district of Sant Salvador, and the Auditorium in Tortosa. In the field of religious architecture, he was responsible for the Parish of San Medir in Barcelona, located on a city block that he completed with some interesting residential buildings, a similarly interesting auditorium and a bell tower that is now the symbol of the neighbourhood.
However, Bonet Armengol was, above all, a great scholar of Gaudí. He was able to understand and organise the thoughts of this genius of Catalan Modernisme, to embody the innate value of Gaudí's work in his own career and to deal successfully with Gaudí's most emblematic project.
Rest in peace.