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Historical Archive which, thanks to its documental richness, provides a large amount of valuable –and in some cases unpublished– graphic documentation.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 journey of this project has been complex and strange, a true reflection of the convulsive times in which it has been developed. The original project, the result of a competition called by the Barcelona City Council, was drafted in 2019 but the economic crisis forced its pause. While it was not possible to undertake the rehabilitation, it was decided to make small occasional investments to repair the roof and close the windows with provisional plastic to stop the deterioration of a factory that, due to its curious morphology of a central nave and two lateral naves and due to its strategic position on the so-called Pere IV axis, it deserved to be preserved.
The project has been adapting with a realistic and positive attitude to the economic reality in which it has had to live, and to chain those small provisional interventions that gradually build the final project. A project that is no longer the original, thought of in one go, but that in its own precariousness and disorder builds a certain way of rethinking this type of action, very contemporary.
Halfway through, once the original architecture has been consolidated and suitably protected, it is decided to open it to the public with a temporary exhibition, which far from being ephemeral, strives to gradually build the facility.
Some fundamental ideas are still preserved from the original project. The nave, which was part of an old factory built in 1920, contained some fascinating interior brick textures, probably more interesting than some of its exterior façades, which, having historically had other volumes attached to them, lacked interest.
From the beginning, the project proposed not only to recover, but also to highlight those textures of the past, and to do so, it tried to centrifuge everything that could damage them. A ring-shaped, searchable underground gallery allows for all the installations that are necessary both now and in the future, and any element that is necessary for the proper functioning of the museum is attached to the outside of the nave: the elevator, which in its verticality reminisces the chimney that the factory never had, linear evacuation stairs, temporary bathrooms and even a large porch that
opens to the park without modifying the original architecture.
There is also a certain idea of materiality already raised in the competition phase which tries to solve all the pieces with a single material: the galvanized iron sheet. In an effort to relate the iron -the protagonist of the time in which it was built the building- with today, giving the material a new, somewhat surprising appearance.
One more phase is currently being worked on, which will not be the last, and which builds a staircase to access the loft, an elevator and the porch. Each of these pieces is resolved from belonging to a set but attending to a certain design independence that accumulates objects in the intervention.
Once the old warehouse had been properly consolidated and protected, while the works to build the new MUHBA headquarters were not resumed, it was decided to open the site to show it to the public. To do so, temporary bathrooms were built and an exhibition was prepared that should be a sample of what will be seen in the future.
The project solves the intervention with a single gesture and proposes a large hanging lamp in the middle of the space, drawing a ring of light that separates the outer perimeter, dedicated to housing an exhibition on the city of Barcelona, from the interior space intended to host events and presentations.
The large lamp is a large element on the scale of the building that enhances the richness of the interior textures and the basilica section of the enclosure.