Intro

About

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Historical Archive which, thanks to its documental richness, provides a large amount of valuable –and in some cases unpublished– graphic documentation.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.

Aureli Mora i Omar Ornaque
Directors arquitecturacatalana.cat

credits

About us

Project by:

Created by:

Directors:

2019-2024 Aureli Mora i Omar Ornaque

Documental Commission:

2019-2024 Ramon Faura Carolina B. Garcia Eduard Callís Francesc Rafat Pau Albert Antoni López Daufí Joan Falgueras Mercè Bosch Jaume Farreny Anton Pàmies Juan Manuel Zaguirre Josep Ferrando Fernando Marzá Moisés Puente Aureli Mora Omar Ornaque

Collaborators:

2019-2024 Lluis Andreu Sergi Ballester Maria Jesús Quintero Lucía M. Villodres

External Collaborators:

2019-2024 Helena Cepeda Inès Martinel

With the support of:

Generalitat de Catalunya. Departament de Cultura

Collaborating Entities:

ArquinFAD

 

Fundació Mies van der Rohe

 

Fundación DOCOMOMO Ibérico

 

Basílica de la Sagrada Família

 

Museu del Disseny de Barcelona

 

Fomento

 

AMB

 

EINA Centre Universitari de Disseny i Art de Barcelona

 

IEFC

 

Fundació Domènench Montaner.

Design & Development:

edittio Nubilum
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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.

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Informació bàsica de protecció de dades

Responsable del tractament: Col·legi d Arquitectes de Catalunya 'COAC'
Finalitat del tractament: Tramitar la sol·licitud de còpies digitals dels documents dels quals l’Arxiu Històric del COAC gestiona els drets d'explotació dels autors, a més d'aquells que es trobin en domini públic.
Legitimació del tractament: El seu consentiment per tractar les seves dades personals.
Destinatari de cessions o transferències: El COAC no realitza cessions o transferències internacionals de dades personals.
Drets de les persones interessades: Accedir, rectificar i suprimir les seves dades, així com, l’exercici d’altres drets conforme a l’establert a la informació addicional.
Informació addicional: Pot consultar la informació addicional i detallada sobre protecció de dades en aquest enllaç

Memory

The building - current headquarters of the "Mutua General de Seguros" - was built between 1894-1896 as a representative and office building for the Company of Gas Lebon following a project by the architect Francesc de Paula Villar i Carmona.

The plot is part of a unique double block delimited by Carrer d'Aribau, Diputació, Balmes and Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, mostly occupied by the large building of the University of Barcelona.

It is a quadrangular building that sits on a rectangular plot, much of which was originally intended for a garden and is currently used as a car park. One of the most relevant aspects of this building and what makes it one of the most outstanding constructions of the end of the 19th century in Barcelona is precisely the originality of the project. We are referring to the fact that it looks like an exempt building despite being the head of a continuous band of buildings aligned on Carrer de Balmes. The architect achieved this effect by attaching the building to the middle of Carrer de Balmes, but opening its main façade towards the garden which was accessed from the Gran Via.

The building consists of five levels of height clearly differentiated into three bodies. The lower one, almost like a base, has a very different material treatment from the rest of the façade. Made with stone blocks arranged in regular rows, it has two levels, a lower one where the current entrance to the Mutua is located (on Carrer de Balmes). Above this lower level there is a second floor, which opens to a series of low arches that give it the appearance of a gallery or very diaphanous body. However, this second level gains prominence in the area of the old garden where the main entrance was located. On this front, a monumental staircase with a stone railing gives access to the interior of the building through the second level. This entrance is also protected from atmospheric agents such as sun or rain through the overhang of the balcony that develops on the main floor.

Regarding the rest of the façade, the homogeneity of elements and composition on the three fronts should be highlighted. In this sense, on top of the stone base, where the openings of the two interior levels are framed, the body of the façade is properly developed. Separated from the lower one by a running cornice, this becomes more prominent in the corners, where the towers develop, becoming an overhang that forms the base of the tribunes on the main floor. These tribunes are configured as a rectangular element resting on sculpted corbels, with a stone railing and Ionic columns that support an entablature that is the base of the balcony developed on the second floor.

The windows on the main floor are framed by Ionic pilasters that incorporate several diamond-pointed ashlars into the shaft and that become the only ornamental element apart from the smooth entablature that crowns them.

On the second floor, on the other hand, the windows – although they keep the same type of pilaster – are configured as a spandrel balcony and are finished with semicircular pediments that contrast with the mouldings on the top floor.

The building is finished with a powerful cornice to which circular openings open in the form of portholes sculpted with floral decoration and which coincide with the vertical axis on which the windows are arranged. Above the cornice there is a last floor with mansards and a roof on a slope which is the result of a later work.

As for the corner towers, as already mentioned, they present one more level than the rest of the façade, in which a kind of open gallery develops through a triple opening with arch and central pillar. The towers are covered with a false mansard roof that is topped with a flat roof with an iron railing.

Unlike the base level made of stone, in the rest of the façade the predominant material is brick, arranged in horizontal strips and which contrasts with the whiteness of the artificial stone of the mullions and lintels of the windows.

The building was designed by the architect Francesc de Paula Villar i Carmona in 1894 on behalf of the company Gas Lebón – one of the pioneers in the state in the production and marketing of gas for public and private lighting of the city.

The original project did not foresee the mansards, which are an added element that considerably modified the perception of the façade, as it visually narrows the angular turrets and reduces the verticality of the whole in general.

Source: Inventari del Patrimoni Arquitectònic de Catalunya (IPAC)

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