La Sagrada Familia: Constructing an alternative timeline with generative AI

“My client is in no hurry.”
Antoni Gaudi, chief architect and designer

La Sagrada Familia, a work of architectural wonder, is often described as a beautiful disaster of a construction project. As Spain’s most visited landmark, it was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 2005. This largest unfinished Catholic church in the world is often referred to as “the Bible made of stone.” 

The structure, now so old that parts completed in the early 20th century require refurbishment, is slated for completion in 2026, marking the 100th anniversary of its chief architect, Antoni Gaudi’s death. 

The project has faced three significant challenges: delays due to the complexity of its design, spiraling costs, and the impact of unforeseen events—issues that are still common in modern construction projects. When the first cornerstone was laid in 1882, generative AI did not exist, but one can’t help but wonder how it might have benefited the planners, project managers, and risk managers who have labored over this Barcelonian church for more than a century.

Height: 172.5 metres (on completion)

Area: 41,000 square metres

Materials: granite, sandstone, steel, concrete, glass

Key features: 18 towers, hyperboloid vaults, interior columns and central nave

No. of workers on-site: approx. 250

Annual construction budget: approx. €25 million

Project duration: 142 years+

La Sagrada Familia has had three struggles.

Choose which Challenge to learn more about.

Challenge 1

Delays by design

Challenge 2

Spiralling costs

Challenge 3

Impact of the unexpected

Learn how to use Al to avoid delays, prevent cost overrun and accelerate capital projects.