In 1908, the Association of Devotees of Saint Joseph, a body which decades earlier had sponsored the project of the Sagrada Familia, commissioned Antoni Gaudí to provide a building to accommodate schools for the children of the parish. The new construction occupied land that would later be taken over to build the church’s Passion façade so would eventually be demolished. In spite of the provisional nature and modest dimensions of the project, this building proved to be one of Gaudí’s minor master works. It was admired by famous architects including the rationalist Le Corbusier, who saw it in 1928 and was struck by its beauty and functionality. The schools building was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War and reconstructed once the war ended. At present, moved a few metres to make room for the Sagrada Familia works, it houses a small museum.
The Sagrada Familia schools are a single building the interior of which is divided into three classrooms. They were constructed with brick, a cheap material that was ideal for a project with such a small budget. What stands out is the undulating shape of the walls and roof as well as Gaudi’s original layout which gave the schools an interesting aesthetic quality as well as great structural soundness. In the case of the roof, its sinuous profile also provided a masterly solution to draining off water on rainy days.