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Historical Archive which, thanks to its documental richness, provides a large amount of valuable –and in some cases unpublished– graphic documentation.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 project is suggested by the peculiar nature of the assignment: two houses with different programs that share the same plot, forest-like and on a slope. Both houses follow the same general guidelines, regardless of the particularity of each program. The zero level is emphasised, which clearly determines the uses below and those above. Below there are the car parks, the workshops and the water tanks, with access from the ends of the lot. Above, each program is developed independently on two levels. The strip of central forest is the common element, shared by both houses through two facing porches. House M1 is for a couple with their young child. House M2 is for a teacher who spends long seasons outside of Barcelona and rents part of the house to other teachers. The materials and arrangement of the windows deliberately evoke the archetypal iconography of the domestic world.
There was that Joel Shapiro sculpture from 1974 (Untitled).
A dark bronze profile simulating an L-shaped artificial plot, screwed at one end to the wall of the exhibition hall. A piece of small dimensions that explains the fascination with bases. On that blown-out balcony, Shapiro places a small piece of a very dense and heavy black iron in relation to its dimensions that describes the icon of a house with its two roofs.
A balcony suspended from a wall, a first construction that explains how the tables work to arrange things on or under them.
We had found ideas of the same expressive force in the series ‘Salto al vacío’ by Ángeles Marcos (Puente, 1986).
The m&m houses were built on this same principle.
The m & m houses project, as we call them in the office, dates back to 1999. Some friends put us in touch with three archaeologists, all professors of Prehistory at the University of Bellaterra, who wanted to build a house. They had been living together for several years.
From the University laboratories where they have their offices, they could see the Malena stream, a protected natural space, and, a little further on, among the pines, some houses in an urbanisation.
m&m asked us to go with them to visit the area. The project began with the choice of the site. From that first visit, and for a whole year, the forest gradually became our refuge.
We were commissioned a large house but in the end we decided to make a house in two: a house for which they share a 10m wide vegetal corridor that is located between the two and to which the respective balconies overlook, a space where the forest of the creek -almost as wild as we found it on the first day we visited the place- penetrates the plot. A space that has become the best room.
The two houses are located on separate platforms in the form of "tables" with a roof. These platforms provide a zero level that solves the steep slope of the site. The car parks, workshops, rainwater tanks and a couple of rooms partially sunk into the ground are under the tables. These rooms, with elongated low windows, next winter will have the walls covered with the undergrowth that rises from the creek. From each of these floor-to-ceiling windows you can see the forest in a level view that is unusually submerged in the ground.
The houses are on the platforms. Both are two floors high and have a balcony that works like the outer corridors of a ship, facing each other.
The enclosures are extremely economical: red brick and aluminum joinery with large 12-centimetre frames that show on the outside. Each house has different developments in program and surface area.
A couple and their small child will live in m1. Later, a dog was added to the family.
The main pieces are a room around the kitchen, which is the heart of the house, facing the entrance porch. The room has a small pavilion that works as a reading space. The second main part of the house is the study, which is located on the back façade facing the density of the stream. The study has a partially double height. It has an elongated window 5 metres high with a door leading to a small balcony.
The window has the same proportion as the pines. The dead branches of the trees that we have not cleaned can be reached from the balcony.
m2 are several small houses together.
The owner lives for long periods of time outside the country, so he will occasionally rent some parts to other University professors.
Each piece must be independent. The common spaces are a kitchen and a small room that overlooks the entrance porch, and a larger room located in the basement, among the bushes of the land.
The materials are very austere: 10x30x15 brick, varnished concrete block, concrete benches...
The floor is an intense yellow terrazzo that we prepared especially for the house. The colour contrasts with the humidity of the forest outside.
One wall of each house, located in the corridors and containing the cupboards, is covered with wood.
The cost of both houses, as we explained at the beginning of the work, is equivalent to the price of any of the houses that exist in the vicinity.