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Historical Archive which, thanks to its documental richness, provides a large amount of valuable –and in some cases unpublished– graphic documentation.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.
A skylight of 3 floors.
The new house is an extension of an old popular house in an industrial district of Barcelona. The existing house, between partitions, was located on a very narrow and elongated plot, and had two floors in height and a rear courtyard that belonged to a larger structure of interior courtyards on the block. Currently, the regulations in this area of the city allow one more floor to go up, that is, up to three floors, and to extend the house in depth by up to five more metres.
The main problem in extending a house so narrow in depth and height is to illuminate the central part, and to get the sunlight to penetrate to the ground floor level. Thus, the decision was to transform the main staircase into a skylight three stories high, like a huge lamp that brings light throughout the house to the ground floor, where the living room is.
This staircase is the place where family members meet, the public space of the house. When entering this space, a change of scale is experienced: long diagonal views open up, up to 10 metres long. A large volume of air has been introduced into a plot that seemed unable to contain it. Each room in the house participates in the light and cross visions through this space. The main level of the house appears to be level 3, the second floor, where the light is located. Thanks to a small patio, the house begins to be transparent on this level, where everything mixes: plants, light, rain, air, wood, fabrics, strollers... The staircase crosses the house by crossing the natural light that comes from above. It seems as if space is flowing upwards faster than itself…
There is an almost theatrical way of moving through the staircase, appearing and disappearing… as soon as the staircase touches the ground floor it becomes a kind of secret place. Whoever uses it surprisingly disappears and reappears under the arch.
The family that commissioned the house, its future occupants, envisioned a very intense way of living, filling the interiors with everyday activities. Thus, the daily activities have been represented in every space, in every piece of furniture... The family fills all the rooms with their presence.
The couple with their two children followed the design process very closely, constantly commenting on how the house would help organise daily activities: Dolors would take care of the daily tasks of the house; the washing machine would be near the bathroom, in the parents' area; the food would be stored in the pantry under the fireplace; the kitchen, close to the garden, enjoying the sights and smells of the plants and the garden planted there; the garden would have a place to organise barbecues and to cook bread and pizzas with an earthen oven; bathing, eating, sleeping... While the boys would take responsibility for cleaning the upper floor. The meetings in our studio were getting longer and more intense, their comments never alluded to a special atmosphere or the use of a particular material, but rather intense conversations about household chores, which tend to be cyclical and exhausting, but which they faced with the illusion of making the house an aid to the list of tasks. Their enthusiasm was contagious, and we ended up drawing all these commissions, driven by their positive attitude.
Organisation of the house
The two new façades, the front and the back, contain the rooms for the various members of the family: bedrooms, studies, a kitchen connected to the back yard...
The original staircase, located in the middle of the house, divides each floor into two areas, the one facing the street and the one facing the back yard.
The central area is where everything matches: smoke rising, light and water going down, people rising and descending.
The outer areas
The relationship between the house and its yard is clear and open. The patio is an extension of the interior of the house, a place to carry out daily outdoor activities. We could say that the social part of the house is concentrated towards the back, away from the street, in the quieter area related to the interior of the block. At the far end of the garden there is a shed to store garden tools, and a barbecue with a floor oven for cooking bread and pizzas.
The rear façade functions somewhat like a tower, with folds that make the block less compact, more fragmented, with several windows acting as individuals representing the occupants of the various rooms.
The original house had a gable roof, without the possibility of outdoor activities. Directly related to the children's area, this upper floor is a new room open to the sky, quiet and solitary during the day, and at the same time a place to organise social activities in the summer nights.