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Historical Archive which, thanks to its documental richness, provides a large amount of valuable –and in some cases unpublished– graphic documentation.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 building known as Vídua Marfà House is a historicist style building that combines elements from the Romanesque and Gothic building traditions. Located in the chamfer between Passeig de Gràcia and València Street, it was designed by the architect Manuel Comas i Thos in 1901 and completed in 1905.
It is a building - originally residential - with five levels (ground floor, main floor and three more floors), built taking advantage of the chamfer created by Passeig de Gràcia and València Street, with a roof on two sides that combines with a passable flat roof. It is precisely the chamfer that conditions the access to the interior of the building, the distribution of the spaces on the floor and very spatially the type of façade.
The façade is developed in three locks of unequal width and decorative treatment as a result of the chamfer. The central section (the chamfer itself) is the most significant, framed on both sides by a towered element that has one floor more than the rest of the building (six in total) and that is covered with a roof on two sides of a big slope. These towers are developed only from the main floor, and they do so through an open tribune with vegetal capital columns and traceries, the base of which also presents vegetal sculptural decoration. Above this tribune there is a large Gothic-inspired window that is developed at double height, encompassing two levels in the same opening. On the ground floor there are three half-point arcades above columns with vegetal capitals and low shafts that make this element one of the most representative of the set. Above this archway is a Gothic-inspired tribune with slender columns that contrast with the sparse shaft of those on the ground floor. This tribune with openwork tracery railing serves as the base for the curved balcony that develops on the second floor, in the centre of which there is a crown window. The rest of the openings are configured as windows with smooth lintels framed by a dust guard. The last floor is organised as a gallery with a semicircular arch between small columns, all framed by a molding with similar characteristics to the awnings of the windows.
The wall locks that complete the façade are much simpler than the central one, although they maintain the same typology of window with smooth lintel and awning that give unity to the whole. The only element that breaks the monotony of the façade facing València Street is the tribune on the main floor, which, unlike those in the central body, is rectangular in plan.
Through the porticoed entrance, located in the central lock of the façade, you can access a first hall (where the carriages were originally left), after which four steps lead to a second hall, while the central section of the staircase connects with the monumental staircase that leads to the first floor.
This staircase gives access only to the main floor, while the rest of the levels are accessed via a neighbour's staircase located in a corner of the hall and clearly differentiated formally and stylistically from the main one. Unlike the neighbouring one, the monumental one is developed in a very open space, covered with an iron skylight and polychrome stained-glass windows that is characterised by its angular arrangement, the result of the chamfered configuration of the estate. It stands out for its sculpted railing and especially the porticoed gallery on the main floor, with semicircular arches resting on columns with floral capitals and very slender shafts. The door that gives way to the interior of the main floor, made of wood and with a very peculiar structure (concave) in order to adapt to the wall with curved lines is of great interest.
Inside, the spaces on the main floor and the first floor are nowadays adapted for teaching purposes, given their use as the Higher School of Public Relations and Marketing (FORMATIC BARNA) and the School of Communication, Tourism and Business. The old halls of the main floor are currently used as classrooms although they still retain some original elements, especially the ceilings, the joinery and some flooring. The molded plaster ceilings of the spaces facing Passeig de Gràcia and the hallway, with wooden beams, stand out, especially for their structure, that adapts to the curved wall where the entrance door to this floor is located. The main floor also has communication with the neighbours' staircase, from where you can access the first floor, also occupied by the School. On this level, as on the lower one, much of the original "noia" pavements are preserved, a type of polychrome pavement widely used in Barcelona architecture during the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The original carpentry stands out, especially the entrance door that preserves the bronze elements among which stand out the latticed peephole and some molded plaster with very punctual gilding stand out, among them one with coffers that opens to one of the inner courtyards of the house.
The building known as Vídua Marfà House was designed by the architect Manuel Comas i Thos in 1901 and completed in 1905.
It is currently the headquarters of the FORMATIC BARNA School of Public Relations and Marketing and the School of Communication, Tourism and Business.