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Historical Archive which, thanks to its documental richness, provides a large amount of valuable –and in some cases unpublished– graphic documentation.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.
It was the end of 1968 when the partner architects of Studio PER (Pep Bonet, Cristian Cirici, Lluís Clotet and Oscar Tusquets), who had just turned twenty-seven, received a commission from the College of Architects of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands to write and edit a counter-exhibition at the school headquarters - which we titled Orim, otro (Miró written backwards) - of the anthological exhibition organised by Barcelona City Council in the Gothic part of the old Hospital de la Santa Creu.
Despite the difficulties that the dictatorship of General Franco posed for opening up abroad, we felt very close to the events of May 1968 in Paris. Barcelona was, at that time, a more cosmopolitan city than it is now, because it is still a city in which its tourist success is diluting its personality. We keep an indelible memory of those months in which we were working on the project, advised by Joan Brossa, Alexandre Cirici, Pere Portabella, Joan Prats and Antoni Tàpies, and especially of the relationship with Joan Miró.
During a dinner at the Reno, we presented our script to Joan Miró, asked him for an artistic intervention on the glass around the ground floor of the school and set a date to visit his studio in Mallorca and choose some original paintings that should be part of the exhibition. Oscar Tusquets and I went to Miró's studio. His house was pretty kitsch. A fishbowl on a kind of inner parterre was the most memorable architectural element of the living room, where we waited for him to come down from his bedroom. He apologized, saying that it was his wife Pilar’s territory, who chose his architect brother to carry out the project. He immediately led us to his studio, a building of great architectural quality and very much lived by Miró, full of his work in progress, clippings from magazines and newspapers and various objects of primitive African art. We were very impressed with the paintings he was working on.
Our script proposed dividing the exhibition into two well-differentiated spaces, separated by the staircase that leads to the so-called Picasso Room and which we proposed to close laterally and above as if it were a steep tunnel. The lower space would be dedicated to Miró’s work from before the Civil War; and the space above, to post-war works. The stairwell between the two spaces would signify the dark times of the war, and a film that we commissioned to Pere Portabella would be shown.
We designed the different nooks and crannies to put the paintings and objects in the exhibition, with the materials of the formwork that the construction company that we most appreciated in those days, and which has unfortunately disappeared from the market, selflessly provided us: Famadas, SA.
In terms of content, although Miró, Prats and Tàpies offered us original works from their private collections, we only used the works that had the most didactic possibilities and a more contentious attitude. We were not interested in the great works; they could already be seen in the great exhibition of the Hospital de la Santa Creu.
A large part of our exhibition consisted of a selection of enlarged photographs of fragments of paintings in which Miró’s symbolism was present, such as the female sex represented by genitalia or chaplains passing through the ring, as can be seen in the engravings of the Barcelona series. But our script also included asking Joan Miró to do some work on the glass that surrounds the ground floor of the headquarters of the College of Architects, in Nova Square. We imagined that, at best, he would paint his signature, but his enthusiastic response was to paint a mural in four colours and black. Each of the screenwriters was assigned a colour and he chose black, applied to the broom and to correct what we had to paint moments before. It was, in large dimensions, the same attitude that led Miró, in the last stage of his life as an artist, to paint on anonymous paintings that he bought in provincial exhibitions.
The exhibition held at the headquarters of the College of Architects of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands proposed to give a vision of Miró's work far removed from the sweetened and childish interpretation proposed by the official media. The discourse was structured on a clear linear path consisting of three parts.
The first one (A) was dedicated to his initial stage and made references through documents, projections and paintings to the literary, plastic, cinematographic and cultural world that characterised the avant-garde from which he received influences.
The second one (B) wanted to express the violent rupture caused by the civil war and developed on the scale that connected the two floors. It was a narrow and uncomfortable space, lined with vast boards like the entire exhibition and with the endless projection of a documentary of war scenes with some photos interspersed with his paintings. The deafening noise of the bombings and the repeated distorted images reflected in the mirrors created a haunting atmosphere.
In the last part (C) his recent work was contrasted with the established cultural atmosphere. It was organised in a zigzagging tunnel inside. There were references to Miró's work and through some windows they could be compared to monumentalism, rhetoric, kitsch and advertising.
The exhibition made an appearance on the street with a huge ephemeral mural that Miró smeared in black and with broomsticks on lines in primary colors previously painted by the components of Studio PER.