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Historical Archive which, thanks to its documental richness, provides a large amount of valuable –and in some cases unpublished– graphic documentation.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.
Already in the first steps for the conception of the institutional headquarters of ROCA or Roca Barcelona Gallery, the architectural project is understood as a tool for the dissemination of a brand and a company. The building is planned based on the communication strategy, another way to spread the values, history and challenges of the company and a transmission channel to attract the interest of the public towards the values, the product, the projects and concerns of a company with more than 80 years of history such as Roca.
The commission envisages the realization of a complex program in which the institutional headquarters, a museum of the brand and a platform for events of a social nature and from the business world mix and coexist.
The architectural project was based on two essential ideas. Its shape and external appearance and the experience of the space lived inside.
The building, surrounded by multiple taller buildings, aims to show itself to the city by understanding its own scale. Due to its urban context, the building is surrounded by the adjacent volumes and is distinguished by its smaller scale and its purity of form. Without resorting to the speculative forms typical of an architecture that seeks to realise itself through the show, the building, while discreet and elegant, manages to differentiate itself from any other.
As the main objective, we researched and worked to conceive a façade that, being observed with a minimum of attention, would not leave anybody indifferent and would try to arouse curiosity. Also, from the beginning, the possibility of creating a "skin" for the building that could perhaps offer a showy effect towards the outside, but which on the other hand had no relationship or apparent consequence to the building’s interior, was given up.
It was sought, therefore, to work as much as possible under these premises. Finally, after testing different possibilities, we came up with a solution for the façade based on the arrangement of a single material, the succession of multiple glasses arranged perpendicular to the axis of the façade. Thus, based on tests and prototypes, we were able to verify how new effects such as diffraction, reflection and refraction of light are produced, resulting in the distortion, translation and superimposition of the image across the façade.
It was the light, both natural during the day and artificial at night, which then became the protagonist. Thus, we obtained a completely ambiguous façade that was shown both as an element of solid character by day and liquid by night, both heavy and light, both rough and smooth and in which it is sometimes difficult to recognise if its character is transparent, translucent or opaque.
Thus, from the outside, when we look inside the building, the façade offers us an ambiguous (distorted) view of its interior, making it necessary to enter in order to really discover it; once inside, if we look outside, towards the city, we will observe a whole series of visual effects as if it were a game, where nothing is really where it should be. Some light rays pass through in a straight line while others are reflected the other way around, producing something similar to an image overlay. Others, at the same time, diffract to show themselves in all the colours of the rainbow.
From the inside, we observe streets where there were none before, buildings are duplicated, and we see pedestrians walking by thinking they are where we see them but, in reality, they are in a different physical place. Our objective was met since we were looking for the realisation of a façade that, whenever looked at carefully, offered a plausible but subtle prescriptive effect at the same time.
Just as a building projected outwards is conceived, a world, a space and a unique atmosphere are sought inside.
Once inside, through the use of light, audiovisuals, materials and exhibition elements, an attempt has been made to generate an interior space very different from a usual exhibition space, where the visitor lives an intense and unique experience with the building. The interior space, therefore, is conceived as a personal and sensory experience in which the user or visitor interacts with the building thanks to presence detectors, directional speakers, light changes, projections, projected characters that interact with visitors and plasma screens that project moving objects. At the same time, all these elements are inserted as if floating in an indivisible and continuous space. The application of a slightly reflective and experimental pavement made of ceramic, a false ceiling in stainless steel and the walls of foam tetrahedrons, make up the three main materials in its interior. All of them are continuous materials: three planes that due to their condition of continuity recreate a weightless space, marking the horizontality and without spatial or formal references turning the physical space into a sort of virtual space.
The technology applied to construction, to audiovisuals and to the way of explaining the brand and its product, are essential to convey the commitment that the company has to its future. The project for Roca Barcelona Gallery echoes the most advanced technologies in terms of lighting, materials such as ceramics, glass and steel.
For all this, it has been necessary for ROCA and the OAB architecture team (Borja, Lucía and Carlos Ferrater) to have another team of experts in different fields such as communication, construction, lighting, audiovisuals and many other specialists of excellence who have made the creation of a flagship building and emblem of their brand possible.