The project for the website Història en obres (History at work) arises from the idea of collecting the best research works carried out within the subjects History of Art and Architecture II and III of the Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura de Barcelona, from 1988 onwards. Three-dimensional interpretations, analytical and descriptive texts, key words and bibliographical references about the main projects and works of architecture of the 20th century converge in these pages. Our aim is to make them available for architecture students and specialists of these disciplines, and to exchange knowledge and information with other schools, universities, archives or other websites.
Història en obres begins with the recognition of the importance of a detailed, precise and attentive knowledge of the original documents of modern architecture works, and of their physical reality as a fundamental condition for the elaboration of a critical discourse. Owing to that, Història en obres must not only be a history of case studies, but a "history under construction", in permanent expansion and revision. There is not any vocation of neutrality, or even less, any pretensions of being a collection of works or authors, but rather an attempt to allow the material exposed to be capable of generating new, compromising, keen questions.
In this site, the user is induced to "think architecturally", as Zevi said; not only with the verbal or written instruments of the history of art, but also with graphic or three-dimensional critical operations. These models, as reduced versions of a work or traces of a detected idea —let's not forget, the Spanish word "maqueta", or the French "maquette" comes from the Italian word macchia, stain, trace—, renew those works poetically as "architectural projects", in retaining their essential values or in pondering in the true materials that compose them.
This website suggests the possibility to view images of scale models and drawings, and to print them, if necessary, in a DIN A-3 or A-4 format. A graphic scale and an orientation mark will be found in the drawings as well, as complementary conditions of the technical information quality that they offer . Looking for information can be carried out in a classical way through a search of works, places or authors, but we also suggest a more "casual" access to information, open to probability and random through a set of key words which allow us to describe, compare or connect different works, from different places and from different periods. Even though this operation may appear risky, by mixing concepts derived from such different fields as the theories of perception, space related thought, construction, typological thought, or the history of architecture, we think that it will bring more accuracy to the language employed here. Furthermore, the sections "Related works" and "Key words" intend, precisely, to highlight the works that share definitions, common positions, attitudes.
Fernando Álvarez Prozorovich
Professor of History of Art and Architecture