In this first stage, the catalogue focuses on the modern and contemporary architecture designed and built between 1832 –year of construction of the first industrial chimney in Barcelona that we establish as the beginning of modernity– until today.
The project is born to make the architecture more accessible both to professionals and to the citizens through a website that is going to be updated and extended. Contemporary works of greater general interest will be incorporated, always with a necessary historical perspective, while gradually adding works from our past, with the ambitious objective of understanding a greater documented period.
The collection feeds from multiple sources, mainly from the generosity of architectural and photographic studios, as well as the large amount of excellent historical and reference editorial projects, such as architectural guides, magazines, monographs and other publications. It also takes into consideration all the reference sources from the various branches and associated entities with the COAC and other collaborating entities related to the architectural and design fields, in its maximum spectrum.
Special mention should be made of the incorporation of vast documentation from the COAC Historical Archive which, thanks to its documental richness, provides a large amount of valuable –and in some cases unpublished– graphic documentation.
The rigour and criteria for selection of the works has been stablished by a Documental Commission, formed by the COAC’s Culture Spokesperson, the director of the COAC Historical Archive, the directors of the COAC Digital Archive, and professionals and other external experts from all the territorial sections that look after to offer a transversal view of the current and past architectural landscape around the territory.
The determination of this project is to become the largest digital collection about Catalan architecture; a key tool of exemplar information and documentation about architecture, which turns into a local and international referent, for the way to explain and show the architectural heritage of a territory.
We kindly invite you to help us improve the dissemination of Catalan architecture through this space. Here you can propose works and provide or amend information on authors, photographers and their work, along with adding comments. The Documentary Commission will analyze all data. Please do only fill in the fields you deem necessary to add or amend the information.
The Arxiu Històric del Col·legi d'Arquitectes de Catalunya is one of the most important documentation centers in Europe, which houses the professional collections of more than 180 architects whose work is fundamental to understanding the history of Catalan architecture. By filling this form, you can request digital copies of the documents for which the Arxiu Històric del Col·legi d'Arquitectes de Catalunya manages the exploitation of the author's rights, as well as those in the public domain. Once the application has been made, the Arxiu Històric del Col·legi d'Arquitectes de Catalunya will send you an approximate budget, which varies in terms of each use and purpose.
The deposit built by Josep Fontseré in 1874 combines the virtues of good construction, the ease of adapting to changing uses and the ability to understand and improve the place where it is located. A great example of good architecture.
The building was in perfect physical condition after being used as a pavilion at the International Fair of 1888, and it later housed a hospital, a municipal warehouse, a movie set and also became an important resting place for many migratory birds.
The project proposed demolishing all the interior divisions, the central part of the intermediate slab, and opening five skylights in the geometric centre of the roof that balanced the perimeter light and established a visual and kaleidoscopic relationship between the interior and the roof. For safety reasons, the large body of water that had been planned to be stored was never allowed to reach the top edge of the tank and the new proposal replaced it with a thin sheet at the top. This improved the old image of the permanently half-empty pond and solved the problem of vertical loads, seismic actions and tightness by reducing the weight and forming an intermediate security camera between the bottom of the new vessel and the old one.
As for the interior, two elaborate prefabricated pieces of concrete, one as a slab and the other as a support, organised discontinuous mezzanines three metres high above the floor of the room. Treated as furniture in the huge space, they increased the area of use, contained all the voluminous facilities that the building needed and gave rise to a great diversity of reading spaces, from some very collected and homely to others with wider views and spectacular heights.
With the exception of the new skylights, everything, including the new pond, was delicately superimposed on the building without injuring it. Everything could be dismantled so that the original support appeared intact again. The search for the formal expression of this strategy guided the project in all its aspects. Again, an exercise that reflects the relationship between architecture and decoration.
The refurbishment turned the water tank into the Pompeu Fabra University Library, located in the neighbouring barracks. It values the space by arranging it inside in the form of a completely removable intervention. The upper floors are made up of a system of prefabricated concrete pieces supported directly on the floor. The set is treated like a large piece of furniture that enhances the beauty of the interior space. The centre of the space is left empty, with the tables directly under the vaults. It is pleasant to visit the interior and check the power of this central space and, by contrast, the warmth of the corners that form the various small reading rooms.