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Historical Archive which, thanks to its documental richness, provides a large amount of valuable –and in some cases unpublished– graphic documentation.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 of an open-plan residential complex allows Coderch to define his conception of urban housing. The floors are grouped in pairs in three-storey blocks and form a set of six blocks arranged in a double axis of symmetry. The ground floors absorb the 5.5-metre drop between Raset and Freixa Streets, avoid shops on the façade and house offices separate from the street. The semi-public space between the six blocks is part of the same architectural landscape, determined by the cladding’s small tiles, the vertical blinds of exposed wood and the combination of the enclosures with profuse vegetation. The house extrapolates the stepped floor plan of the previous detached houses. A structure based on straight metal feet and reticular slabs allows to cut the perimeters of the slabs and distribute the surfaces regardless of structural requirements.
This housing complex is part of the urban plan that, during the 60s and 70s, governed the way of building the new homes that were located in the upper part of the city of Barcelona, a city with more cars every day and consequently more noise, seeking to distance itself from noise pollution.
In this line, the groups of houses within the layout of the streets are isolated, leaving generous spaces between the blocks for the optimal passage of light, multiplying their façades and giving rise to the green that surrounds the ground floors. In the Banco Urquijo complex, Coderch lowers the height of the blocks, so the spaces he leaves between the bodies may be more limited; thus it approaches the ideal of emptiness between streets and, staggering them, it is able to limit the inner landscape.
The fact that they are high standing flats means that the distribution has double access (one of them segregated by the service) both in the door and in the lift. The staircases of the blocks, when facing each other, are equipped with a vertical wooden filter that gives warmth to the interior spaces and complements the ceramic tile cladding used for the façade. The retraction of the rooms in search of light and intimacy coincides with the architect's essays on his previous experiences in single-family housing.
The housing complex designed by José Antonio Coderch is commissioned by the Banco Urquijo group, on a chamfered rectangular plot that forms a complete block. According to the original project, the complex consists of six free-standing blocks made up of two basement floors for a garage and facilities and a cultural centre, a ground floor with commercial premises and entrances; and four or five upper floors for housing. The site has a topographical unevenness that will condition the project. To adapt to the prevailing scale and smooth out the unevenness in the complex itself, the blocks are aligned in height, the top floors will consist of smaller penthouses that are set back from the street by means of characteristic setbacks. The intermediate spaces are completed with landscaped patios.
The standard floor plan contains two symmetrical dwellings per landing, in the centre of which the vertical communications core is found. They communicate with it through a main access that leads to the hall and another service access that connects with the kitchen. Inside, the lobby articulates three different areas: the night wing made up of an aggregation of bedrooms, the day area that occupies the central strip, and the areas for domestic service.
The structure consists of a system of metal pillars and reinforced concrete floors. The façade is made up of ceramic cladding walls and exterior openings, carefully protected by an enclosure of vertical wooden slats.
The Banco Urquijo Building is one of the clearest examples of the reflection developed by Coderch around urban housing. On the one hand, his efforts to make the city more habitable are appreciated, although at the same time the architect stubbornly aspires to protect the home through the limit that the façade clearly establishes between the interior and the exterior. The typological result ends up forming a hybrid between the city-garden and the continuous block-type urban dwelling. A kind of ruralisation of the urban through an operation of extrusion in height – as if it were an architectural game – of the models of single-family homes designed by the architect up until then.