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The Architects' Association of Catalonia unveils its new façade

© Col·legi d'Arquitectes de Catalunya (COAC)
The Architects’ Association of Catalonia unveiled the new façade of its head offices in Barcelona on 22 January. The project has consolidated the neutrality of the office building so that Picasso’s frieze stands out even more.

The new image for the head offices highlights the original design by Xavier Busquets while incorporating improvements in energy and environmental efficiency such as soundproofing and solar panels.

This project has made it possible to replace a 55-year-old façade with a more contemporary one that is fully equipped with new technology and 21st century features. The design of the new façade is the work of the architectural firm Fuses-Viader Arquitectes SLP (Josep Fuses and Joan M. Viader) in collaboration with the architects Jorge Perea and Jordi Mansilla.

At the inauguration event numerous activities were held at the COAC’s head offices: expositions, guided tours and a round-table discussion on heritage renewal, focusing on architectural interventions in modern buildings.

The “Discussion on interventions in Modern Movement buildings” included the architects Rafael Moneo and Albert Cuchí, members of the jury of the façade renovation contest; Lluís Comerón, COAC Dean and chair of the jury for the the contest; Celestino García Braña, vice-president of the DOCOMOMO Iberico Foundation, and Joan M. Viader, co-author of the façade’s renovation project.

The presentation included a video about the renovation process for the façade and a website on urban renewal, a key factor for regenerating our cities on an architectural and social level.

Mapping show and exhibition
One of the most anticipated events at the inauguration was the mapping show, a spectacle of light and colour that brings buildings to life.

The mapping was projected using the slogan “Renewing the city, building the future”. It presented the building’s history, explaining the challenges facing 21st century citizens: the struggle against climate change, people’s welfare, energy efficiency, etc. and how social architecture must form part of the solution.

On the other hand, city residents have the opportunity to visit the inside of the COAC’s head offices by attending one of the guided tours of the building.

Furthermore, visitors can track the whole process of transforming the façade and see the exhibition “The Plaça Nova façade: 1962-2018”, with a display of documents and images from different points in the building’s history.

Check the video on the renovation process. 

Watch the video of the mapping show: