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Historical Archive which, thanks to its documental richness, provides a large amount of valuable –and in some cases unpublished– graphic documentation.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 Old Age Pension and Savings Fund acquired the site of a pre-existing factory and commissioned its demolition to promote, years later, the construction of housing under the state Housing Law. In 1966, it commissioned the project to three architects who had never collaborated together. The architects developed a prior Urban Planning figure to establish the building conditions necessary for the execution of the planned project. They had studied more compact proposals for a closed block and other modalities that they discarded.
The project is structured in nine buildings, all of them oriented practically north south, with a slight inclination towards the east, which completely broke the alignment of the Pons Plan of the environment. It contains three towers up to twelve stories high that act as a screen in front of National Highway II. The rest of the buildings, with a ground floor and two or three floors, are located in the part close to the ground and upper floor buildings that predominate in this neighbourhood.
Thus, two absolutely differentiated areas. Among them, a series of socialisation spaces were introduced, with the aim of facilitating meetings between neighbours, also freeing up some ground floor spaces, through porches that connect streets or through closed spaces for community use.
The free space of the complex is an essential part of the project. The residential complex is structured around a central plaza that is divided into two levels that give access to all the blocks. Access to the complex is through two pedestrian paths that connect with the perimeter street belt. In addition to the central square and the adjacent streets, the complex has four elevated walkways that form a third level of relationship, located 2.80 m above the level of the low blocks.
The Can Mercader residential complex is distributed in six types of housing modulated according to a bay of 7.70 m in the upper blocks and 8.50 m in the lower ones. There is a clear intention to introduce variations in terms of distributions, the number of rooms – three or four in the high blocks and four or five in the low blocks –, definition of façades, through the introduction of displacements both in height and in plant, which guarantee the permeability of the complex despite the height of the blocks. On the ground floor, the movements help to provide privacy to the terraces.
The homes consist of kitchen, open gallery, dining room-living room, toilet, bathroom, a double room, two to four single rooms, terrace associated with the living room and, in some cases, the room next to it. With this typological variety, the architects offer the possibility of accommodating families of up to eight people in the same home or even ten, something very common at that time that Barba Corsini already proposed in his Mitre housing project in Barcelona.