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Historical Archive which, thanks to its documental richness, provides a large amount of valuable –and in some cases unpublished– graphic documentation.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 construction of the interior space is the result of a set of design and construction operations. The first of them consists of sliding the formwork of the floor plans of the rooms, forming a set of polygons that regulate the different surfaces that make up the first interior façade. This set of plans that energise the space help to control the acoustics of the great hall.
This first enclosure is built using concrete cornices and railings made in two planes, one of glass and the other of cast aluminum elements, which, while maintaining their diaphanous and crystalline quality, avoid the problems of vertigo, cleaning, maintenance and the replacement of its various parts. Two slots, one for lighting and the other for air injection that pressurises the corridors, complete this first membrane. This façade is complemented by the interior that encloses the rooms formed by the elliptical surfaces that enclose the bathrooms, covered with curved sheets of aulocobond and the cylindrical pillars lined with mahogany palm of equal section throughout their height, which they collect the tickets from the rooms.
The second project operation is developed in the section. This space is structured vertically in three parts: the lower one, 10 m high, topped by inclined curved surfaces that correspond to the closure of the technical plants and which, due to its slightly vaulted condition, reinforces the personality of this first level which also has differentiated air conditioning.
The second level, which is part of another visual plan, is made up of the twelve floors of rooms that make up the central part of the 42 m high space through the game of polygonal axis. Finally, the two floors recede allowing light to enter and smoke to escape, which would turn this space, in the event of a fire, into a zenithally open patio. The last floors with the curved layout and the opaque windowsills act as the end of this whole space. The lighting is achieved with a large stained-glass window facing north and is stiffened with broken and horizontal ribs.
A set of metal profiles make the knots, and, in their folds, there is the structural metal carpentry that supports the glass. A canopy goes through the stained glass to collect the access and arrival of cars. This large stained-glass window and openings in the roofs illuminate the hall with northern light, making artificial light unnecessary. This causes the spatial perception to be reversed during the night or day. When it is daytime, the space is projected outwards, accentuating the natural light on the facets, edges and planes. At night the process is reversed, the space closes in on itself, the artificial light marks and follows the lines and the stained glass that reflects the interior and shows the emblematic lights of the city. On the sides of the stained glass are two large concrete screens made with sliding formwork and which contain all the vertical installations serving each floor for connecting and closing circuits. These walls include the air conditioning, extraction and renewal of air in the bathrooms, evacuation of gases and chimney ducts, trolley lifts, suitcase lifts and clothes ducts, the plant offices, emergency stairs and safety installation.
These walls make the relationship between the users and all the service networks without crossings possible, and form the main access façade on the outside, depriving the view of the rooms from the outside and causing a strong change in scale which helps place the building on the ground.
Josep Maria Cartañá i Gubern, Carlos Ferrater i Lambarri