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Historical Archive which, thanks to its documental richness, provides a large amount of valuable –and in some cases unpublished– graphic documentation.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.
Gaudí worked on the project for ten years, and the works did not start until 1908. It is a kind of laboratory in the middle of nature where Gaudí alternates his discoveries with the works of La Pedrera, the Sagrada Família and the Park Güell. The crypt consists of a structure of inclined pillars of basalt stone, with a monolithic shaft, prepared to support the church that was intended to be built on top. The roof is formed by a complex system of thin brick catenaries that follow a very irregular geometry, guided by numerous allusions to the animal and plant world. The first rows of the wall system, darker, are followed by reddish rows, and the church was to continue with greenish tones and finally blue, the same chromatic order of the forest that surrounds it. Gaudí worked with catenary models to trace the vaults that were to complete the whole, although the crypt is the result of working on site with all kinds of found and recycled materials, such as window bars or waste bricks. Gaudí ends up printing numerous religious and Catalan symbols on all surfaces, such as the four cardinal virtues represented in the mosaic above the entrance door.
The crypt is a difficult construction to describe in the terms of the traditional lexicon of architecture. However, it should be noted that it is here where Gaudí carried out the experiences of the three-dimensional scale models of the funicular diagrams of the forces, which he will use in the temping of the ceilings of the Sagrada Família. He studied this experiment by means of a model made of cords, which materialised the axes of the columns and arches, and from which he hung bags of pellets, the weight of which was proportional to the thrust they had to withstand.
For the construction of the crypt, Gaudí used a construction system with a long tradition in Catalonia, the tile vaults, developing its possibilities to almost incredible limits. This is the case of the vaults of the porch that precedes the crypt, made of tiles, shaped like hyperbolic paraboloids that seem suspended. This porch supports a staircase that was supposed to give access to the church, which was never built.
Mosaic worked in glazed ceramics and fired brick, also known as "trencadís". The mosaic on the panel above the entrance door is of strong symbolism: in the center there is the anagram of Mary surrounded by plant motifs and flowers and flanked by the symbols of the four cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance). At the top we can see is the flaming cross and, in the outer angles, the alpha and omega. The symbols of the cross and the alpha and the omega are repeated in all the side windows of the crypt (ovoid in shape, emphasising a multi-coloured mosaic and glasses as rosettes reproducing the stylised cross in one and with windows as butterflies in the small ones) and to the hyperbolic paraboloids, combined with the initials C.G, which are a constant throughout the colony.
The crypt of the Güell Colony is the only part that was built of a church that was to preside over, on top of a hill, the textile colony that Eusebi Güell and Bacigalupi founded at the end of the last century in El Prat de Llobregat, to the east of the town of Santa Coloma de Cervelló. All in all, it is one of Gaudí's most important works and, perhaps, of the 20th century.
Gaudí began working on the project in 1898, which occupied him for many years because it was, in a way, a preview for the Sagrada Família. The works did not begin until 1908, and when they were interrupted in 1915, only the crypt had been finished.
The building corresponds to the crypt of the church designed by Gaudí for the Colonia Güell, never finished. The element that has the most prominence on the outside is the entrance porch. Monolithic columns or basalt stones and iron slag, like the walls, rise to support a porch whose vaults, made of tiles, have the shape of hyperbolic paraboloids that seem suspended. This porch supports a staircase that was supposed to give access to the church, which was never built. Above the entrance door there is a mosaic made of glazed ceramics and baked brick, of "trencadís". It is highly symbolic: in the center is the anagram of Mary surrounded by plant motifs and flowers and flanked by the symbols of the four cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance). At the top is the flaming cross and, in the outer angles, the alpha and omega. The symbols of the cross, the alpha and the omega are repeated in all the side windows of the crypt (ovoid in shape, highlighting a multi-coloured mosaic and glasses like rosettes reproducing the stylised cross in ones and with windows like butterflies in the small ones) and to the hyperbolic paraboloids, combined with the initials C.G, which are a constant throughout the colony. Inside, monolithic columns alternate with brick or mixed ones, linked by catenary arches (ribs) that support the flat roof. For the purposes of space distribution, it is a single nave. The significance of the temple is undoubtedly given by Gaudí's participation, which earned its inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Among its values there is the fact that the architect tried several elements there that he later applied in other of his great works, but it is also due to its own merits due to the combination of materials and the conception of the space. Parallel to Gaudí's stroke, there are several significant elements that correspond to other authors. The church has had up to four high altars throughout its history. The current one is the third that was made there, designed by Jujol, although reconfigured (in what we can consider the fourth format) in order to adapt it to the new liturgical needs that emanated from the Second Vatican Council. The altar of the Sagrada Familia was also designed by Jujol, and the altar of Our Lady of Montserrat is by Isidre Puig Boada.
Gaudí began working on the project in 1898, although the works did not begin until 1908. They were interrupted in 1915, when only the crypt was finished, which was consecrated that same year. The death of Eusebi Güell in 1918 meant the final abandonment of the project. The building was attacked on July 25, 1936, burning some of the pews and scrapping the altars. During the civil war it became a warehouse for the Rabassaires Union and barracks for the Republican troops' Train Corps. At the same time, the house where Gaudí had the polyfunicular model (which had been abandoned for years) was demolished, which was considered to have no value and the project would not continue, once Eusebi Güell and Gaudí himself had died. In 1939 it was restored, becoming a parish on July 20, 1955, with the blessing of the Bishop of Barcelona, Gregorio Modrego. Between 1999 and 2002 the crypt was restored again and the temporary cover that was made when Gaudí was separated from the works was replaced.
L'església segons el projecte original de Gaudí
Arxiu Històric del COAC
Set La Colonia Güell