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Historical Archive which, thanks to its documental richness, provides a large amount of valuable –and in some cases unpublished– graphic documentation.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.
Following the GATCPAC’s precepts, Rodríguez Arias proposes the construction of homes with good surface and comfort standards at very low costs, thanks to the construction procedures used. The structure is mixed, of brick and upright iron feet, to favour the wide spaces and not subject the layout to the bearing system. The roofs are made of clapboards. The floors are made of hydraulic mosaic, and the doors and windows adopt the models standardised by the GATCPAC itself. The building has central heating, and all the equipment in the kitchens and bathrooms adopts the most innovative technology of the moment.
This building is located between party walls on a plot with a rhomboid floor plan and several floors have two apartments per landing. The best oriented façade is the one that faces the interior space of the block. Rodríguez Arias solves this problem by placing the main bedrooms on the façade facing the street and saving the good orientation for the living and dining room, which can easily be converted into a single space by means of folding screens. The result is that the interior façade is much more glazed than the street façade, which has large horizontal windows. The façade that faces the street is like a canvas of pink stucco, perfectly flat and outlined by the windows. Slight movements strategically provoked on some of the balconies and windows of this façade generate small asymmetries that create a soft, very balanced dynamism. The ground floor has been modified to incorporate shops. The structure is mixed, made of metal and brick, the most common and economical of those used in Barcelona at the time. The doors and windows have been standardised according to the GATEPAC models and measurements. On the façade facing the street, the carpentry is metallic, while on the interior façade there are horizontal wooden sliding doors, GATEPAC type. The service elevator stops at the upper terrace where the storage rooms of all the homes are located.
Residential building located at 61 Via Augusta in Barcelona, designed and built by German Rodríguez Arias in 1931.
This residential building is configured as a construction between partitions, on a regular plot with an almost rectangular plan with eight levels: the ground floor intended for commercial uses and seven residential floors.
The ground floor is open to the street through large rectangular windows that welcome the shop windows of the commercial premises, currently (2012) empty and recently refurbished.
The next five floors show a rationalist configuration in the façade, following the constructive and compositional parameters of the GATCPAC, an architectural movement to which the architect German Rodríguez Arias belonged.
The building has been designed with two homes per floor that are clearly differentiated on the façade facing Via Augusta. Each of the homes has a central glass balcony and two rectangular windows that flank it. It is worth noting the difference in width in the overhang of the balconies (some are squarer and others more rectangular) which give the façade a certain asymmetry, also present in other works of the GATCPAC group.
One of the most remarkable features of the façade is precisely the relationship that the architect establishes between the wall and its openings, with windows without moldings and without any decoration. This sobriety of the wall is only broken by the upper body, with two levels of galleries. These galleries or terraces, also very common in GATCPAC architecture (as in Bloc House, for example), were understood as a connection with nature and are presented as an open area with a metal railing. The wall of these galleries stands out, all configured in angles - like a saw – where small windows open.
For its construction, metal and brick elements have been used, creating a mixed structure that on the Via Augusta façade is covered with a pink and flat stucco coating, recently restored due to the poor state of conservation that it presented.
Doors and windows have been standardised according to GATCPAC models and sizes. On the façade that faces the street, the carpentry is metal, while on the interior façade (facing the block’s patio) they are wooden horizontal slides.
In the hall you will find the residents' staircase and the lift that give access to the upper floors, up to the terrace, where the storage rooms of each house are located.
The best oriented façade is the one open to the block’s patio, a fact that conditioned the architectural project of Rodríguez Arias. For this reason, the living room and the dining room are located on this side of the building, easily convertible into a single space through folding screens and large horizontal windows that allow ventilation and lighting of the space. On the contrary, it arranges the bedrooms on the side of the street.
The building was designed in 1931 by Germán Rodríguez Arias (Barcelona 1902-1987), architect and founding partner of GATCPAC, and one of the floors was the architect's residence and studio.
Rodríguez Arias was the introducer and father of Catalan rationalism, and he designed this building on the lot that the family owned in Via Augusta, and where, in fact, his residence was located (on the fourth floor, front door). Many of the original elements and rationalist furniture have been preserved in this home. Also a designer and interior designer, he designed the interior elements following the concepts of economy, efficiency, function and beauty, coined by the master of modern architecture: Le Corbusier.
The residential building on Via Augusta is a fundamental work of architectural rationalism and presents a great similarity with the Astoria building - cinema and housing complex - located at 193-199 París Street in Barcelona, also by Germán Rodríguez Arias.
Originally, the ground floor was occupied by the lobby of the estate and the garage; then it was modified and partially occupied by the Manbar furniture store. The current elevator has nothing to do with the original, made of glass on all four sides, completely transparent and very innovative at the time.
The building is currently quite modified from the original project, and has undergone numerous and unfortunate transformations, the most controversial being the restorations of the façade in 1987 and most recently in 2010.
The restoration of the 1980s was carried out by the Barcelona City Council, which paid the cost of the intervention in exchange for the donation of two Alexander Calder mobiles by the architect's family. Germán Rodríguez Arias and Alexander Calder had a great friendship, to the point that the American artist stayed in the architect's house on Via Augusta several times and gave him both works. But, in this sense, the restoration focused solely on repainting the façade with a soft colour, since the cladding was badly damaged. Only a few years later it returned to the state in which it was before the restoration, which led to the last restoration that completely modified the appearance of the façade by placing a stone plywood on the ground floor and painting (when the original was lighter) the rest of the levels dark pink.