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Historical Archive which, thanks to its documental richness, provides a large amount of valuable –and in some cases unpublished– graphic documentation.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.
On a south-facing mountainside, Coderch chooses to place the house on a protruding point between two slopes, so that the panoramic angle is as wide as possible. The main traces are defined based on the topography, with a retaining wall at the back and a base platform with a circular profile. The guidelines of the walls are determined by the different angles of view on some carefully framed fragments: the four openings of the living room, the separation of the house with the guest wing and the porch below the master bedroom. Access from the street is accompanied by a small wall that connects with the general wall system. The living room, dining room and hall are located at platform level. The distributor on the upper floor is on an intermediate level and has a balcony over the living room. On this same level is the master bedroom. On a slightly higher level there is another bedroom and a large study oriented to the west and to the entrance. The project makes use of great architectural freedom in plan and section and pays very careful attention to the different points of view, which makes life in the house identified with the combined effect of the views and from the same house.
The commission was based on the premise of preserving the place and enjoying it. It is located in a plot in the upper part of the mountain, with many pine trees and views of the sea. The desire to maintain the maximum number of trees conditioned that the distribution of the house be radial, with visual angles that had to be respected. To adapt to the terrain, the project is organised around a series of retaining walls that follow the contour lines and define a set of terraces. A main terrace stands out, where the pool is located and where the day area is developed, while the sea views are enhanced. The retaining walls are supported by volumes that cantilever over the terrace and form the porches.
Due to its geometry, the floor plan is more reminiscent of the Russian avant-garde and Dadaism than of the orthodoxy of the GATCPAC. But this appreciation is only due to geometry because the spaces are rationally ordered and the continuity between interior and exterior space is enhanced. Criticism of the third generation of modern architects, to which Coderch belonged, had already begun to occur within the CIAM. They claimed their origins and the use of local materials, which in this work are masterfully combined with the most functional aspects of the building. It seems as if Coderch wanted to find a more personal language, closer to the place.
Conceived in the Maresme of the 1950s, the Ugalde House still enjoyed the privilege of an unspoilt coast that it observed from its unique point on the hill of Caldes d'Estrach, just before the outbreak of mass sun and beach tourism in the subsequent decade.
It is considered a key work in Coderch's career, as it shows the maturity acquired in the work of the previous works. It collects the T-shaped distribution scheme of 'Les Forques' and the important introduction of the visual vectors already tried in the Ferrer Vidal House, taking advantage of the sliding displacement of planes to generate spaces and circulations.
So, Casa Ugalde cannot be considered an exception in the single-family houses designed by Coderch. The orthogonal mesh that characterises them is deformed in this case by the desire to adapt the distributive scheme as much as possible to such a pronounced topography, dividing the three characteristic wings of the T-scheme into two levels and changing the volume of the whole. The result is an L on the ground floor with common spaces and services on which the bedrooms rest.
The house begins at the edge of the plot, 50m from the entrance, with the back porch framing the sea and at the same time connecting the guest pavilion with the rest of the house. The path runs along the retaining wall that allows you to reach the level of the main door without suffering any unevenness. Near the entrance the views are denied by the occlusion of two walls and the blind volume that frames the door; this decision favours the impact of light, which invades us again from different openings once we have passed the hall and reached the first living room. The visual vectors crossed in two consecutive phases and the masterful use of exterior elements, whether with volumes, planes, pillars or nature itself in the form of a tree, allow the outside to be assimilated in an intimate and tangible way, appropriating- se of the landscape both from the interior and exterior spaces, as well as the semi-exterior, pieces of maximum interest in a summer house.
The service area is hidden from the entrance, in the long containment wall initially traversed. It has its own patio that faces north, which it ventilates, and which receives light from the reflection on the white painted stone of the incident rays of the sun.
The bedroom floor can be seen both from all exterior angles, as well as from its interior through the access staircase generated by a distributor that remains on the mezzanine. Made of ultra-light forged steel suspended by uprights that act as a railing at the same time, it is appreciated from the main living room, enriching the spatial experience of the inhabitant. From this mid-height hall, you finally reach the rooms which, from this higher position, enjoy a higher degree of privacy and the privilege over the landscape that the height gives them. The roofs, accessible and without a railing, integrate the earthy colour of the brick and its geometries into the soft background of the green of the vegetation and the blue horizon of the sea.