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Historical Archive which, thanks to its documental richness, provides a large amount of valuable –and in some cases unpublished– graphic documentation.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 Urania Villa is a small residence from the end of the 19th century that was the renowned astronomer Josep Comas i Solà’s home. The villa is one of the last existing urban examples of what was once the Farró neighbourhood in the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district of Barcelona. The re-densification of the neighbourhood throughout the 20th century left the building and the surrounding small garden sandwiched between two imposing partitions.
The new Equipment Complex takes on the challenge of giving new life to the villa and the existing gardens and incorporates it into a newly built building.
The strong pre-existence of the villa establishes the level of the ground floor and the first floor. A double access to the plot allows to connect Zaragoza Street and Via Augusta, and at the same time it allows access with a route adapted to both the ground floor and the basement. An external staircase connects the whole new building vertically, a light and permeable element that gives air to the whole set. On the first floor, the terrace of the new building is joined to that of the villa, giving more transparency and ventilation to the pre-existing neighbouring estates that face the plot.
Once rehabilitated, the Urania Villa becomes a meeting point, a multi-purpose open space equipped to carry out all kinds of activities as required by such a building.
The extension, a tall, narrow building facing south-east with a large gallery, passively air-conditions the social and informal activity areas as well as the building's circulations. This intermediate space functions as a greenhouse in winter and as an umbrella in summer. It acts as a thermal cushion, separates the air-conditioned areas from the outside, and reduces the energy demand of the building.
The façade adapts automatically to the external conditions. Interior temperature sensors act on the glass façade, opening or closing it as needed. Outdoor probes measure solar radiation and act on folding shutters. The indoor plantation formed by different species provides a pleasant feeling of freshness in summer, while in winter it reduces its volume to allow to capture the solar radiation. The building envelope has been designed to achieve low thermal transmittance, minimise thermal bridges and a high level of tightness.
The building also stands out for the intensive use of materials with a low environmental impact, quickly renewable and of recycled origin: auxiliary structures and wooden carpentry, mixed wood-aluminum curtain walls or hemp insulation, among others.
The Villa Urania Equipment Complex has been designed as an almost zero energy building (nZEB). Its energy consumption is very low and most of the energy needed is produced in the building itself. High efficiency active systems have been chosen. The building has a geothermal heat pump supported by 11 wells distributed throughout the plot that provide heating, cooling and domestic hot water. The lighting of the whole building is LED, and on the roof there is photovoltaic production with 19kWpic installed. A 20,000L buried tank allows rainwater to be collected and used in a closed circuit to irrigate the building's plantation.