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Historical Archive which, thanks to its documental richness, provides a large amount of valuable –and in some cases unpublished– graphic documentation.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.
There are spaces that arise from a lucky and unexpected find. A serendipity of axes X and Z. Faced with the surprise of finding an unforeseen space, the need arises to give it a use and a social dimension thanks to new activities. A space of potential energy that, when discovered and becomes part of our collective knowledge, turns into kinetic energy. A kinetic energy that transforms into social when the space is able to host a program.
One find was what happened to the Rei Martí tank, an old water retention tank located on the old estate of the Bellesguard tower and viaduct, the work of Antoni Gaudí. A buried tank of more than 600m2, dated at the end of the 19th century, that had been forgotten under a pine forest until it was accidentally rediscovered 20 years ago.
Serendipity demands humility, it requires the ability to fine-tune mechanisms to listen, to connect spaces and people, often far removed from our familiar and reliable environment. This was our first strategy, to maintain this mysterious condition of the deposit and invite the public to reappropriate it and share the excitement of the unexpected find.
A small budget allocation allowed the district of Sarrià - Sant Gervasi in Barcelona to project a strategy for the re-appropriation of the deposit to pass its potential energy to kinetic energy and prepare it for future social energy. A city recycling exercise that transforms a water retention tank into a cultural facility. A new space that can be everything.
That is why the project space must respect the character, its code, its nature, its materiality, the footprint of the water and the strength of the original deposit. It must be a space that understands and reinforces its structure of pillars, arches every 3.5m and gives value to its Catalan-style ceramic vaults. We could not afford to change the space, on the contrary, we had to promote its strength and its original condition.
Access to the tank is via Bellesguard Street, creating a new public space for the neighbourhood that doubles as an exterior entrance hall. A square that saves the unevenness between the street and the reservoir by creating connections and visual relationships with the Bellesguard tower through the materiality of the large concrete walls that integrate with the pine forest above the reservoir. This square also functions as an urban activator with the inclusion of a cafe that appropriates the square and acts as a hinge between the entrance to the tank and the public garden above it.
Inside the tank, the ceramic arches and vaults maintain their original character and the imprint of water and lime. Constructive elements that are emphasised with lighting to make them the only protagonists. Meanwhile, the floor and perimeter walls are clad in wood that connects us organoleptically with the forest that is on the roof of the tank and allows us to control the space acoustically. The deposit wants to offer the city the opportunity a different cultural experience.