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Historical Archive which, thanks to its documental richness, provides a large amount of valuable –and in some cases unpublished– graphic documentation.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 project responds to the need to accommodate a growing number of spectators for a football club that is constantly growing and with a greater social projection. The design criteria were based on a critical analysis of the world's major football stadiums. The playing field is below street level, so the ascent to the highest ranks is not so exaggerated. The stands follow a course of four lowered curves in order to guarantee the maximum proximity of the spectators to the field of play. In section, the stadium is organised in three overlapping tiers, to make the most of the vertical occupancy. The first tier rests directly on the ground. The second tier houses the grandstand seats and the most favoured seats, which are the only covered ones. The third tier houses the general seats and grows in height on the side opposite the grandstand. The evacuation is organised by the combination of numerous vertical circulation cores connected by uninterrupted walkways. The Camp Nou applies rationality criteria to the program of a high-capacity stadium, where the spectators are the real protagonists.
Mitjans was lucky that one of his cousins, a resident of Amigó Street, was elected as Barça’s president, and he took it upon himself to build a new football field to replace the old one in Les Corts. Mitjans received the commission in collaboration with Josep Soteras and Llorenç García-Barbón, two municipal architects who would help him develop the entire process. Construction was planned in two phases.
To carry out this project, Mitjans traveled throughout Europe and South America in search of information. He visited the stadiums in Helsinki, Berlin, Turin, Rome and Rio de Janeiro, before starting and during the different phases of the project’s development. One of the characteristics that he observed in these large stadiums is that they were located in the middle of large esplanades that facilitated access and flow around the building. In Rome, the location of the Forum Mussolini in the middle of a forest had a great impact on him and he proposed to FC Barcelona to establish the stadium in the centre of a block. They chose a very central location close to Diagonal, the most important avenue in Barcelona. The creation of green areas around the Les Corts cemetery and the Maternity Hospital would create a very pleasant environment from a visual point of view.
The most difficult problems to solve were visibility and mass flows. To obtain good visibility, three cantilevered grandstands with different slopes were proposed, which allow to get closer to the field and are the ones that provide the greatest seating capacity. To reduce the stadium’s height, which could be up to 40 meters high, part of the land was excavated, and the first grandstand was built below ground.
The structure of the stadium is like a plate supported by radial ribs of reinforced concrete. These ribs generate a vertical rhythm throughout the drum of the building that defines the texture of the exterior façade. The 40-metre cantilever canopy is supported by the frames of the stands’ general structure.
The 1951-1954 period was especially convulsive for FC Barcelona fans. The sporting revival of a team led by Ladislao Kubala contrasted with the turbulent situation experienced on the Club's main floor. In those three years, up to four directives followed one another, and as many other projects for the construction of a new Stadium. Just a few years earlier, in 1950, Eusebi Bona had confirmed the impossibility of the umpteenth increase in the capacity of les Corts.
In 1951, the approval in a referendum by the partners of the purchase of the plots next to the maternity hospital in Barcelona intensified the debate about the new field and its location. The negotiations for the expansion of the purchase of land for the Stadium and the pressure exerted by elements of the Fascist Regime to force its implantation in the then Generalissimo Avenue would deserve a separate chapter in this story.
Finally, the victory of Francisco Miró-Sans in the 1953 elections led to the commissioning of the project executed in its first phase between 1954 and 1957. The authors of the project were his cousin Francisco Mitjans Miró, José Soteras Mauri and Lorenzo García-Barbón, both linked to the local government.
The Club's board established a ten-point program for the development of the Stadium project. Among these, an occupation of 150,000 spectators stood out, and the need for a large, covered grandstand, following the tradition of the marquee designed by Eduardo Torroja for the old Les Corts field. The most surprising demand on the list, at least under current conditions, is that the project should "Give the Stadium THE HIGHEST CATEGORY as an architectural work, bold and serene (...)".
The original Stadium project was mainly characterised by five elements. The first, due to the perfect visibility of its triple overlapping stands, designed with an asymmetric profile, in the manner of the theoretical proposals developed by Le Corbusier and Niemeyer. Its precise geometry, defined by drawing isoptics in each section, explored the limits of reinforced concrete construction in Spain at the end of autarchy. The section layout of the first two grandstands, even with a greater curvature on the sides, refers to the previous project carried out in 1953 by Lorenzo García Barbón under the presidency of Agustí Montal.
The second, for its counterweighted tensioned roof canopy by means of the grandstand ramps, with a 40-metre projection, a technological milestone of the moment. Its original section is indebted, among others, to the Zarzuela Hippodrome project (by Arniche, Dominguez and Torroja), analysed by Mitjans in a study of up to 64 international projects carried out prior to the development of the project. A technology already used by Soteras in the most surprising High Altar of the XXXV International Eucharistic Congress of Barcelona in 1952.
The third characteristic element of the project was two bodies of ramps in front of the side stands. A first pair of V-shaped ramps, facing the west façade, to give access to the grandstand and a second independent body, parallel to the third tier, mediating between the scale of the Stadium and that of the Maternity Hospital.
The fourth characteristic of the project was to entrust the visual definition of its envelope to the serialization of the structural system of inclined screens of the building, revealing the activity of the spectators.
Finally, the original project foresaw the urbanisation of an entire landscaped sports centre around the Stadium, similar to the accesses to the Turin field that had impressed Mitjans so much.
Lorenzo García-Barbón Fernández de Henestrosa, Francesc Mitjans Miró, Josep Maria Soteras i Mauri
Antonio Bergnes de las Casas i Soteras, Francesc Cavaller i Soteras, Juan Pablo Mitjans i Perelló, Francesc Mitjans Miró, Josep Maria Soteras i Mauri
Perspectiva exterior del Camp Nou
Fons Quaderns d'Arquitectura i Urbanisme / Arxiu Històric del COAC
NOU CAMP NOU – Construïnt somnis blaugrana des del 1957
Set Camp Nou