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Historical Archive which, thanks to its documental richness, provides a large amount of valuable –and in some cases unpublished– graphic documentation.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 hydrological machine:
During the 19th century, the textile factories of Poblenou used the abundant underground water for their operation. With the disappearance of this industrial regulator, the water table has risen considerably, and water outcrops are found less than 7 m deep. The new headquarters of Barcelona Activa transforms this problem into a project factor: two 30 m deep wells extract a flow of 70,000 liters of water per hour with a constant temperature of 18 degrees - higher than that of the air in the winter and cooler in the summer-, they feed a hydrological machine that supplies the necessary energy for air conditioning, irrigation and sanitary services. This energy model, including the 100 m3 pool for the storage of extracted water, is located on levels -2 and -3 of the building.
The complex includes a media library, an auditorium, the corporate headquarters of Barcelona Activa, the existing business incubator and a new office tower. The stage where this programmatic complex is gathered is a semi-open square in the street that we call the campus. A proposal that revises the concept of enclosure that emerges from the Cerdà blocks of houses in which the spaces that belong to the street are differentiated from those inside the block of houses.
The 'campus' is separated from the street by a gate-pavilion that functions as a curtain, a threshold that allows you to organize access to the square, the descent to the media library or the classroom and the entrance to the Nursery, according to timetables or requests for different operation. There are more sequences of curtains in the project: intermediate spaces that dilate the passage from the street to the square, from the square to the inside of the building, from the elevators to the floors, from the inside of the offices to the outside of the façades’ balconies. These transition spaces measure from one millimetre to two metres.
The arrangement of the entire complex has been a delicate contract between different programs and typologies that create paradoxes of size: entrance pavilions too small to be buildings and too large to be pieces of street furniture; small squares to be understood as squares and very large if read as exterior rooms; towers excessively tall in proportion to the site alongside buildings considerably long for their height... With an overabundance of what is horizontal, during construction, and even today, the complex looks more like a shelf than a building. Things can be placed on this shelf, and their positions can be swapped. The entrance pavilion has its own graffiti-advertisement; the floors are ready to be able to connect wherever you decide, both inside the offices and in the square; the ceilings, to move the lights; the glasses, to accept various protections, labels or transparencies.
Sobriety plus flexibility: versatile buildings with a great ability to be combined. Non-representative buildings, buildings neither ostentatious nor pre-figured but adaptive. Like old industrial production buildings: without excessive authorship, without necessarily style, comfortable as a warehouse and for transformation. Architecture ready to accommodate changing uses and identities.