Our Europa Road team in Manchester is proud to play a part in helping to complete one of the most iconic unfinished buildings in the world.
Our Manchester branch, which employs 17 staff in Media Village, Salford Quays, provides the vehicles which transport up to 300 tonnes of gritstone a day to be used in the construction of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
The unique building, which combines Gothic and Art Nouveau styles, was designed by renowned architect Antoni Gaudi. He spent 40 years building the church before he died in 1926 and, while construction has continued over the years, it has remained unfinished since.
The stone originally used for the church’s bell towers is sandstone from Montjuic in Barcelona, however these quarries were exhausted and closed years ago. After a worldwide search for matching stone, gritstone from Brinscall Quarry, near Chorley, Lancashire, was selected alongside stone from five other countries to complete the construction of the eight remaining towers. The quarry will have provided approximately 120,000 tonnes of gritstone by the time the church is completed.
The quarry is owned by Armstrongs Aggregates, based in Bolton, Lancashire, which was featured in a recent episode of Building Giants on More4. The episode followed the progress of engineers and architects attempting to raise the church’s central towers, making it the world’s tallest church 140 years after Antoni Gaudi began building it.
Emma Armstrong, Director at Armstrongs Aggregates, said: The quality of our stone is absolutely critically important to the project in Barcelona because if it wasn’t of the strength and resilience that it is, the towers wouldn’t stand up on their own. We can’t have any fractured rock because that would affect the strength and create a weakness in the rock. It is a very precise process and something that can’t be rushed.
“Being a family-run business in Lancashire it is quite humbling, but also very satisfying that we’re supplying the stone to complete the most photographed religious monument in the world. We are very proud.”
Paul Martin, Branch Manager at Europa Road in Manchester, said: “It’s an honour for Europa to play a part in the story of such an iconic building. I’m sure many people are unaware that the gritstone used comes from a quarry in the North West so it’s great to see one of our customers, Armstrongs Aggregates, showcased on television.
“We’ve been carrying trailers full of gritstone from Brinscall Quarry daily for almost two years and we’re set to continue until 2021, so it’s a very big and prestigious contract for Europa. The Sagrada Familia is visited by millions of people from all over the world, and it’s a huge privilege for us to be a part of the transport process and the future of the church.”
Europa Worldwide Group employs more than 650 staff across 12 sites in the UK and Hong Kong. Europa also provides specialist air and sea, warehouse and showfreight services alongside its road operations.