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Historical Archive which, thanks to its documental richness, provides a large amount of valuable –and in some cases unpublished– graphic documentation.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 blind walls of the partitions frame the large open courtyard - with the staircase, the elevator, the galleries and the access bridges to the homes - and are seen with greater dignity despite their absurd presence due to the abrupt change in heights in the same block, as permitted by the mandatory urban planning regulations.
The density of the programme, the complexity of the urban regulations and the suburban character of the environment, crowded and overloaded, lead the architects to create a unitary volume, forceful, contrasted with its surroundings.
The sloping roof, with two different slopes, enables the existence of houses under the roof from perforations-terraces; this double inclination gives a unique character to the interior block’s façade with an extension of the volume at a lower height, due to urban planning regulations, but giving an idea of a friendly settlement of the large volume towards the adjacent building. The formal use of the blind partition as an expressive element of the building will be seen again in later works by Martínez Lapeña y Torres, as is the case of the Housing in Canovelles (REF).
The façades on the streets are perforated only by the square module of the shutters with the outer plane of the wall, a fact that disguises the existence of different types of rooms behind the outer grid, whether they are terraces or areas such as kitchens or bedrooms. The façades were therefore projected as self-enclosed surfaces that do not allow spontaneous interventions by users over time. The rationalism in the design and the resources used contrast with all the existing architecture in the execution of the building.
The opposite happens with the spaces generated inside the building. When entering through the only access, one finds a whole different world where what becomes expressive are the architectural elements themselves: the stairs, the volume of the elevator, the pillars, the footbridges and planters. Elements that are incorporated into the language and composition of the building, offering the user an elementary understanding of the complexity of the spaces, of the generated 'architectural landscape'.