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Historical Archive which, thanks to its documental richness, provides a large amount of valuable –and in some cases unpublished– graphic documentation.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.
Strolling around the old town of Barcelona, we find the Marès Museum next to the cathedral, located in Sant Iu Square. It is a heterogeneous set of buildings built around a magnificent central courtyard. The first room (sala dels Arcs) was inaugurated in 1946 (at that time the Gothic quarter was being reinvented). The museum continued to grow until the seventies. We are not aware that a master plan or an overall project had ever been drawn up. A considerable part is dedicated to showing his collection of painting, sculpture and fine arts, and the other to the collecting passion of Mr. Marès, which is where the relationship between the object and the way it is displayed becomes more evident, typical of a museum designed by an author.
From an architectural point of view, the result was a heterogeneous set of rooms and outbuildings of various shapes, different and outdated construction systems, poorly connected and often not located at the same level.
The aim of this project was the architectural rehabilitation of the first floor of the museum, where the collection of medieval sculpture is exhibited. Apart from offering new and better technical and environmental conditions for the exhibition of the works, the project, without renouncing its own formal identity, gives continuity and completes the remodeling of the ground floor, which the architect Josep Llinàs started in 1999.
To enable the creation of the best environment conducive to the exhibition and contemplation of the works, the new project has been developed in parallel with the museum’s project, where the type of rehabilitation has been defined together with the architectural design of the rooms, their accesses, spatial relationships and routes, such as the new distribution of the collections, the showcases, the support elements, the lighting of the works and the signage.
In short, a building has been constructed (forging, enclosures and installations), within an existing building, with a new geometry. Between the two buildings (the original and the new one) a series of interstitial spaces were created, used to place the new installation rooms, showcases or other exhibition elements. The new rooms achieve the character of a new qualified container and establish a relationship of juxtaposition with the old support. The new project is based on letting the objects be the protagonists and that the pieces that are taught are not decontextualized but integrated in this new space. To achieve these objectives, the rooms have been transformed into regular spaces, new connections between areas have been opened and existing ones have been eliminated and new visual relationships have been established between the interior and exterior of the museum. Additionally, the architectural barriers have been removed and a new staircase and freight elevator have been built.
The museum project determines the architectural rehabilitation, as well as the new distribution of the collections in the exhibition space, in addition to the showcases, special supports, lighting and signage. The main characteristic of the new museography is the creation of an optimal environment for the exhibition and contemplation of the pieces.
To achieve this goal, the rooms will be transformed into spaces of regular shape and dimensions, and new connections between areas will be opened and existing ones will be eliminated. This new distribution has resulted in a larger and visually cleaner exhibition space and the possibility of a more coherent route through the rooms.
The desire to relate the different spaces is evident with the new opening that allows the first-floor lobby to be visually connected to the courtyard, which until now was practically hidden from inside the museum. This operation will be complemented by the arrangement of a glass wall on mixed carpentry, set back approximately one metre from the façade plan, so that it does not affect the composition of the courtyard. In the same way, the rehabilitation has been complemented by the replacement of all the existing carpentry with new ones and the covering of the windows that do not offer views of interest.
The construction of a new slab superimposed on the existing and non-supporting one to reinforce the structure of the building is another major architectural intervention. This slab is dry-built, based on standardised steel profiles supported on the existing slab and walls. A metal sheet rests on this framework, on which the pavement is placed. With this decision we avoid, on the one hand, carrying out load tests on the current building and, on the other, reinforcing the slab based on connectors and a new compression sheet. It has also been reinforced from below the beams of the ceiling of the first floor with a profile of galvanised metal plate refilled with resin mortar.
The demolition of the staircase between the first and second floors of the museum to build a new one in the same place is also part of the intervention.
Among the architectural elements of the new construction a core of adapted health services has also been included.
Finally, the main access to the building has been remodeled by replacing the current glass door with a double door that forms an entrance gate, so that the environmental control of the plant's rooms can be guaranteed down, and the eventual entry and exit of the pieces.
As Llatxer Moix states in La Vanguardia: "the architectural exercise, as we pointed out, does not appeal here to the formal side, but to the functional one. The unevenness and alignments of the outbuildings have been corrected or fine-tuned with great subtlety; the coldness of the rooms has been transformed into warmth at the mercy of orange painted fabrics or the use of light wood panels; elements such as the showcases have been designed that add to the exhibition function of filtering natural light, and has acted with discretion and harmony in the few windows or openings that face the street".