Recovering Modernity of Sert and Clavé. Renovation of the Gavà Cooperators Union by Meritxell Inaraja

More information

Design team
Laura Bigas Montaner, Amàlia Casals Gil, Ester Serradell Buhigas.
Measurements and budgets.- Joan Antoni Rodón Bellalta. Structure.- Eskubi‐Turró Arquitectes SLP. Safety and Health coordination.- Atenea Seguridad y medio Ambiente, SAU. Quantity surveyor.- Area Metropolitana de Barcelona (AMB) ‐Mónica Mauricio (technical architect). MEP.- AIA Salazar‐Navarro. Activitats Instal.lacions Arquitect Niques, SL Cotca, S.A. (structural studies and pathologies). Patrimoni 2.0 Consultors, S.L. (chromatic studies).
AMB ‐ Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona Ajuntament de Gavà.
Rehac, SA.
523,63 m².
Project.- March, 2018
Completed.- 16/06/ 2021.
Original commission.- 1934.
Original design.- 1935.
Original completed.- 1936.
Rambla de Maria Casas, 102. Gavà, (Baix Llobregat - Barcelona), Spain.


Meritxell Inaraja graduated as an architect from ETSAB (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya) in 1994. After obtaining a postgraduate diploma in  Museography, Design & Fitting from the same university, she enrolled in a Doctoral Program in Construction, Engineering, and Architectural Research.

She has worked both for public and private clients, and has realized many restoration works. Among them we can highlight the restoration of the old Mint House "La Seca", in Barcelona (2011), for which she was awarded the "Premio sul Restauro e Architetture Mediterranee" at the second edition of PRAM. The project also participated in the XIII Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2012.

Inaraja is a member of the Technical Commission on Cultural Heritage in Central Catalonia, Generalitat de Catalunya.

Josep Lluís Sert

Josep Lluís Sert (Barcelona, ​​July 1st, 1902 - March 15th, 1983) was a son of aristocrats and a republican who dedicated himself to introducing modern architecture in Spain. During his life he became interested in the work of Antoni Gaudí and Josep Maria Sert, his uncle.

He was a student at the School of Architecture of Barcelona. He traveled to Paris in 1926, where he studied the work of Le Corbusier, whom he met there. After a year, he joined the studio of Le Corbusier, with whom he collaborated for several years. In the year 1930 he began to project his first buildings. Of this period we can highlight the Antituberculosis Dispensary and the Housing Building on Muntaner Street, located in Barcelona.

Sert was one of the founders of GATEPAC, Grupo de Artistas y Técnicos Españoles para el Progreso de la Arquitectura Contemporánea. The purpose was to be the Spanish branch of the International Congress of Modern Architecture (CIAM). This was constituted by the initiative of Fernando García Mercadal in 1930 to extend the rationalist style that was taking place in Spanish architecture. In Catalonia the name became GATCPAC, Grup d'Arquitectes i Técnics Catalans del Progrés de l'Arquitectura Contemporánea. In addition, Josep was present at the initial CIAM meetings since 1929. Josep, after Le Corbusier, would end up being the president. The most relevant members were José Manuel Aizpurúa, Antoni Bonet i Castellana, Fernando García Mercadal, Josep Lluís Sert and Josep Torres Clavé.

After the Civil War was persecuted by the government of the dictatorship. He was disqualified from exercising his office, so in 1941 he left for the United States. There he created the Town Planning Associates study of architecture and urbanism that worked on numerous urban planning plans for cities in South America, such as the pilot plan for Havana.

He worked as an architecture professor at Yale University. Later he became dean of the School of Design at Harvard University from 1953 to 1969. With his current influence, he set up programs of architecture, landscape and urban design that would enlighten many of the leading architects of our time. He also participated in the Advisory Council of the Grham Foundation in Chicago, Illinois. During that period of time he founded a new architectural firm in Massachusetts, which ended up associating with Ronald Gourley and Huson Jackson. Joshep Zalewski was the Associate and continued to be in the firm Sert, Jackson and Associate founded in 1963. The firm was responsible for a large number of projects known as the Maeght Foundation, the Miró Foundation and a series of buildings for Harvard University as the Science Center, Peabody Terrace or the Holyoke Center. Sert collaborated with Le Corbusier in 1961 in the United States to design the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard.

Rosselló housing building (1929).
Duclós House (1930).
Josefa López House Building (1931).
Bloc House (1932-1937).
J. Roca Jewelry (actualmente, Tous) (1934).
Antituberculous Dispensary (1934-1938).
Project City of Rest and Vacation(1934).
Project City of Rest and Vacation (1935).
Pavilion of the Spanish Republic (1937).
Republic Pavilion (Posthumous Reproduction of 1992).
(Old) United States Embassy in Iraq (1955-1960).
Joan Miró's Studio (1956), Sert House(1957-1958).
Holyoke Center (1958-1965).
Maeght Foundation (1959-1964).
Center for the Study of the World's Religions (1960).
Peabody Terrace (Harvard Student Apartments) (1962-1964).
Campus of the University of Boston (1960-1967).
Joan Miró Foundation (1972-1975).
Les Escales Park (1973).
Science Center (1973).
Residence of MIT students (New House) (1973).
Caixa Catalunya headquarters project (1976).
La Porta Catalana (1977).

Gold Medal of Architecture of Spain in 1981.
Gold Medal of the Generalitat in 1981.
AIA Gold Medal of America 1981.
Gold Medal of Merit in the Belllas Artes of Spain in 1982.

Josep Torres Clavé

Josep Torres i Clavé (Barcelona, ​​Spain, 1906 - Els Omellons, Spain, 1939), was a Spanish architect and designer. He was the nephew of the architect Jaume Torres i Grau. He began his professional career with the architects Josep Lluís Sert and Antoni Bonet, with whom he founded MIDVA (Mobles i decoració per a la Vivienda actual). In 1924, he began studying architecture at the School of Barcelona. In 1927-28, at the age of 21, he made a study trip to Italy, together with Josep Lluís Sert, where he learned about the works of the great classics. Le Corbusier's passage through Barcelona on his way to Madrid and the Can Dalmau exhibition were determining factors in his formation as a modern architect. He finishes his studies on August 26, 1929.

After finishing his studies, he will be one of the founding members of GATEPAC (Group of Spanish Artists and Technicians for the Progress of Contemporary Architecture) —a group created as the Spanish branch of the International Congress of Modern Architecture, CIAM—, founded in Zaragoza in 1930 by initiative of Fernando García Mercadal to promote the rationalist style in Spanish architecture, with three sections (central group (Madrid group), north (Basque) and eastern (Catalan) where he used the denomination of GATCPAC, Grup d'Arquitectes i Tècnics Catalans pel Progress of Contemporary Architecture). In this association that spread the principles of the modern movement, Torres Clavé was considered one of the best cartoonists.

Parallel to their constitution as a group, they opened a place on Passeig de Gràcia for exhibitions and promoted the magazine AC (1931-1937), Documents of Contemporary Activity, where they carried out an important task of dissemination and criticism, becoming the soul of the publication; It presented the work of architects and artists such as Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, Erich Mendelsohn, Van Doesburg, Neutra, Lubetkin, Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso. He was also director of the Superior Technical School of Architecture of Barcelona during the years 1936 to 1939.

On July 30, 1936 he created the Sindicat d'Arquitectes de Catalunya (S.A.C), of which he was general secretary, and with which he would actively participate in reconstruction works, new schools and redevelopment. He was an active member of the PSUC.

Among his most important works are the Casa Bloc (1932-1936, Paseo de Torres i Bages 91-105, in Sant Andreu), and the Tuberculosis Dispensary (1934-1938, at number 10 of the San Bernat passage), both in Barcelona and made together with Josep Lluís Sert and Joan Baptista Subirana. In the field of urban planning, he actively participated in the "future Barcelona urbanization project" of 1932 (subsequently baptized as the Macià Plan), presented by Le Corbusier, Walter Gropious, Mercadal, Sert, among others, as well as the Ciutat de Repós i Vacances de Castelldefels (1932). Within his designs there are proposals for furniture that are still reproduced today, such as the chair with a rattan back that became famous or a floor lamp, pieces designed for his family circle.

He died on the front in the town of Omellons, near Borges Blanques, in 1939 during the Spanish Civil War while building trenches on the Lerida front.
Jung 2023 2



Our selection