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Historical Archive which, thanks to its documental richness, provides a large amount of valuable –and in some cases unpublished– graphic documentation.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 plot is located in the old town of Granollers. It is a 6.5-metre-wide and very long plot between partitions that has access from two streets. Of the existing construction, which was in a dilapidated state, it was only possible to preserve the façade on the main street, which was kept in good condition and had a certain heritage interest.
The clients wanted to differentiate two areas within the house very clearly: a domestic area where family life was to develop and a second independent functioning area which had to serve both to have a more secluded and quiet living space in everyday life, as well as to receive visitors or organise collective meals in more sporadic situations. Urban planning conditions allowed building only in alignment with roads and therefore the division of the two areas within the plot was automatic. The domestic part is located on the most central street and in the western area, separated by the central garden, the most segregated part linked to the vehicular access.
The east-west orientation of the plot and the narrowness of the access streets made it very difficult for the house to have good solar capture through the street façades. This condition, added to the difficulties in achieving privacy on the ground floor, led us to withdraw the buildings from the street, creating access yards that would also act as solar collectors for the roof, creating transitional spaces between the street and the house, between the external and internal climate. We put some semi-covered spaces that can be used by means of retractable covers that allow capture in winter and ventilation in summer. In this way, pedestrian access from the most central street and vehicular access from the other street are solved, avoiding the typical marginal and poorly qualified spaces that are usually generated by car parks and pedestrian access from the street. The qualities of privacy, light, space and thermal comfort of these entrance spaces allow the house to be used and perceived from end to end, without hidden or residual spaces. These bioclimatic spaces become the first step in a succession of spaces that run from one street to the next offering a great variety of conditions, characteristics and explicitly differentiated properties. The sum of this succession of spaces and climates creates a ground floor of 345 m2 and 53 m long where the most collective and intense uses of the house will be located and which functions as a large continuous distributor which is accessed by the stairs that lead to the most private or service rooms located on the ground and basement floors.
The treatment of each room in an individualised way but at the same time carefully connected to its neighbouring rooms makes it possible to identify the specificities of each space very clearly, but at the same time to integrate them all into a whole. This strategy makes it easier for outdoor spaces to acquire living room characteristics and become just another room in the house. Thus, this large ground floor has low, high, long interior rooms, semi-exterior covered and bioclimatised rooms, covered exterior and outdoor rooms.
The sequence of spaces tries to create a certain ambiguity about what is interior and what is exterior, but at the same time the exterior spaces are intentionally differentiated by intensifying the vegetation and uncoated ceramics that with their more material and natural presence manage to create less domesticated atmospheres, builds landscapes on a plot with no views.
The organisation based on linked rooms is totally related to the structural system of the house, which is why to use a wall system that materially reinforces the typology was chosen. The load-bearing walls embrace all the spaces and limit the size and proportion of the openings between spaces, so that the structure radically conditions the experience of the house. The materiality of the ceramics, the different textures of the factory, the thickness of the walls, the ability to self-regulate humidity and its thermal inertia are experiences that go with each type of space. Space is structure and structure shapes space.
The relationships between the different structural units produce structural discontinuities that must be resolved and that become opportunities to organise the ceramic factory by creating post-compressed beams where the solid brick rows are reinforced and stratify the structural walls in strips between sills and lintels creating a gradient of densities from the thinnest and most massive pieces on the ground floor to the thickest and most perforated on the upper floors. A new expressiveness is achieved from the different rhythms and textures that emerge from the structural requests of the ceramic factory.
The organisation of the matter and the spaces tries to prioritise an optimal passive behaviour of the house, starting from the bioclimatic courtyards that guarantee a thermal stability between 15 and 25ºC; an improved climate in between which also reduces the demand for the spaces that are directly related to it greatly. The structural system and the double ceramic sheet of the façades with 10cm of wood fibers guarantee a very good relationship between thermal insulation and interior thermal inertia.
The solar protections are hung on the outside of the façade, avoiding thermal bridges and delinking the solar protection from the window hole, as if it were a secondary, more dynamic element, a circumstantial addition that could change or be replaced along the years.
The house has just been air-conditioned using radiant systems linked to a geothermal system that allows passive exchange with the ground. In addition to radiant floors, sheet metal collaborative slabs are earth-activated structures that act as large radiators or radiant surfaces and help dissipate heat in the summer. This high internal inertia linked to the temperature of the ground allows a very stable thermal behaviour throughout the year with minimal consumption.