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Historical Archive which, thanks to its documental richness, provides a large amount of valuable –and in some cases unpublished– graphic documentation.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.
Located in the Ciutat Vella district, the old Francesc Cambó House occupies the southern half of the block of houses bounded by Via Laietana, Avinguda de Francesc Cambó and dels Mercaders and Pare Gallifa Streets. This building has three façades facing Via Laietana (from where the main access takes place), and the streets of Pare Gallifa and dels Mercaders.
With a rectangular plan, the plot structure of this property is configured by two built bodies that adapt to the slope of the land and belong to different construction phases: the higher body, facing Via Laietana, was built previously respect to the lowest body, facing dels Mercaders Street. The structure in height of the previous body includes a base made up of ground floor and mezzanine and is developed with six floors and a main floor that, instead of being on top of the base, is located in the attic. The elevated structure of the rear body comprises a base consisting of a ground floor and a mezzanine divided into two levels of openings and is developed with four more floors. Both bodies have large traversable roof-gardens.
The three façades of the building structure their openings in vertical and horizontal axes of regular rhythm, and present a homogeneous finish consisting of a stone base that embraces the ground floor and mezzanine and a coated finish on the rest of the floors. The base, entirely clad in Montjuïc stone, has an almost transparent ground floor based on large portals with lintels flanked by pilasters. The mezzanine, on the other hand, is developed as a gallery of aligned rectangular windows. Both levels are included within the base of the building by means of a monumental colonnade based on pillars and ribbed Doric entablature, with their entablature based on triglyphs and metopes. The main portal of access to the building is developed as a triumphal arch: two doors with lintels flanking a wide semi-circular arch, whose interior light houses a triangular pediment supported by two fluted Ionic columns. This portal retains its original enclosures, consisting of Roman-inspired lattice doors in bronze, decorated with lion heads with laurel wreaths.
This portal gives access to the hall of the building, a space with a rectangular plan formed by two corridors covered with a coffered ceiling that rests its weight on Doric pilasters of grooved wood.
The openings of the upper floors are developed in an orderly manner, rhythmic in several vertical sections of variable width. These are horizontal Chicago-type windows, some of them tripartite or bipartite by means of handles in the shape of a Tuscan column. The verticality of the building is enhanced by the four padded Tuscan pilasters that run the entire height of the building and that collect the visual weight of the attic. Indeed, the flagstone of the monumental balcony on the main-attic floor, decorated with reliefs and supported by corbels, acts as the entablature of the building. The attic or main floor is developed as a wide gallery of semi-circular arches with molded profiles and flanked by double Ionic pilasters. Following the vertical axis centered above the main access door, this penthouse has a tribune crowned by a triangular pediment and which opens onto the street through a Tuscan Serliana. Above this attic runs the balustrade that closes the roof garden.
The roof deck became a garden of 1000 m2, arranged on two levels, with trees, plants, fountain and pergola. Visually, it has a continuity with a scenographic construction - perspective of a large Italian garden - mounted on a protruding partition of the Bartomeu Trias house (no. 26) in Pare Gallifa Street. During the Civil War it was damaged and later rebuilt by Joan Mirambell.
The rear body presents the same finishing solutions and exterior projection of the openings, although it appears as a building of smaller proportions. On the other hand, the façade facing the street and the Placeta dels Mercaders shows everything from vertical openings with finishes that have no architectural entity in relation to the rest.
Francesc Cambó i Batlle, conservative politician founder of the Regionalist League and who was a councilor of the Barcelona City Council and minister of several Spanish governments, was also the owner of numerous companies. Cambó actively participated in the urbanisation of the new Via Laietana and it was precisely there that he set up the headquarters of "Inmobiliària Catalana S.A." and his residence. Cambó House was designed with this dual purpose in mind by the famous architect Adolf Florensa i Ferrer. The construction of the building, which corresponds to a typology of skyscrapers inspired by the work of the American architect Louis Sullivan, took place in two stages: the previous body, designed between 1921 and 1923, was completed in 1925, while the back body and the attic of the previous one were built between 1930 and 1931. The façades visible from the brand-new Via Laietana were conceived as an ostentatious curtain to hide the degradation of Ciutat Vella, as indicated by the neglected aspect with which Florensa designed the rear façade, facing dels Mercaders Street. Currently, the building has been converted into a luxury hotel.
L’Edifici Cambó, el primer de la via Laietana | Va passar aquí