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Historical Archive which, thanks to its documental richness, provides a large amount of valuable –and in some cases unpublished– graphic documentation.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 house of Calella has been designed from adversity. The suggestive initial assignment proposed us to design a house between partitions, for a single family, in a narrow street in Calella del Maresme. Everything presupposed a good opportunity for architecture, similar to the one Coderch had when he designed the house-workshop of the painter Antoni Tàpies, in a narrow street in Barcelona's Sant Gervasi district. The two houses are located in similar urban plots, densified, with three-storey buildings and narrow façades without much personality. But these apparently optimal circumstances turned into pitfalls as we delved deeper into the jigsaw puzzle of a surprisingly strict municipal regulation.
The plot, with two dividers on each side and no patio, only has an eight-metre façade open to the street. This adverse circumstance led our project to close in on itself, to look inward looking for the zenith light and the inner empty space.
The regulations allowed us four levels of slabs, undoubtedly too high for a single-family house, and required a gable roof built with ceramic tiles.
Fortunately, the functional programme of our clients was quite open and their trust in us did not restrict too much the project speculations that were emerging.
We opted for two lines of action that formed the driving ideas of the entire project. The first was the work of foaming the allowed volume, creating a central courtyard that acted as a true place of relationship, a kind of introspective square of reduced size, with a glazed roof and dimmable light intensity. The interior façades, windows, double volumes, walkways and stairs pour over this space, which configure a scenario of family life rich in visual perspectives and complex in its operation.
The second axis of action revolved around the segmentation of uses by levels. Each level receives its own, determined and autonomous program. On the first level, which constitutes the pavement of the central volume, we located the community spaces of the home, the kitchen, the dining room, the pantry, the cellar, the toilet and the living room, composed of two rooms: one more collected, more interior, presided over by a fireplace, and the other brighter, more open, on which all the rooms of the house spill out. On the second level we located the parents' bedroom with its dressing room and bathroom. This level is completed with a study room on the other side of the walkway. On the third level, there are the children's bedrooms, their two bathrooms and another specific workspace. Finally, on level 0, which connects to the street, after a wide porch that allows the accesses to be arranged, the garage, the storage rooms, the workshop, the boiler room, the lobby, the elevator and the start of the ladder.
This arrangement clearly differentiates two blocks: on the street, all the outbuildings that require immediate ventilation; and on the central void, those others that allow a more deferred lighting and ventilation, more still. Thus, the house is organised into private uses (intimacy), community uses (relationship) and work uses (work). The house - once finished, furnished and lived in - is very bright, cheerful and alternative, full of suggestive interior spaces, views, open rooms and corners. The general interior volume makes using it a constant surprise, especially favoured by the sculptural staircase-passageway-library that runs from top to bottom and across the width of one side of the courtyard.
The materials used are reduced to a minimal palette of varieties. Sobriety was essential to assess the volumes, the entrances of light and the interior façades in the courtyard. The white concrete block was used to cover the partition walls, which ensures good insulation (double wall) and a level of finish with an outdoor vocation. To finish the interior façade, we chose the veneer of composite marine board, which allows for cut-out windows and air conditioning outlets. The floors are mostly treated with Merbau floating parquet, and the large, glazed surfaces shade the light with adjustable aluminum slats and rollable Helioscreen awnings.
The homogeneous appearance of the furniture, the choice of materials and colours, and above all the design of the specific furniture that make up the architecture, is due to Teresa Ferrín, who has collaborated again with our studio, ensuring a remarkable interior design, essential for a work like this to be assumed as a comprehensible and comfortable whole. The suggestive initial order, as we have explained, has become, after the adversities typical of every project, one of the most rewarding works of recent years. A pleasant house to live in, full of space, emptiness and light.