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COAC Collections (Alt Empordà)

THE PROLIFIC TRAJECTORY OF A VISIONARY REVEALED AT THE ALT EMPORDÀ DELEGATION OF THE COAC

The exhibition presented a selection of projects by the architect, engineer and entrepreneur Josep Maria Bosch Aymerich, from the documentary collection that the Fundació Privada Bosch Aymerich, which manages his legacy, has conceded to the COAC Historical Archive

On 20 February 2019, the Alt Empordà Delegation of the College of Architects of Catalonia (COAC) in Figueres hosted the inauguration of the exhibition “Col·leccions COAC / Josep Maria Bosch Aymerich”. The exhibition specifically included the “leisure and tourism” section, which used models, plans, drawings and photographs to present the projects of the Hotel Cap Sa Sal in Begur (1955-1963) , the unrealised project of the Flotel (floating hotel) (1978), the Chalet for Mr. Bloch, and the Masella. Pirineu de Girona ski resort (1965-1967).

The event was attended by Mr. Roger Subirà, architect and curator of the exhibition, who reviewed Bosch Aymerich's professional career as an architect, engineer and entrepreneur.

“Col·leccions COAC / Josep Maria Bosch Aymerich”

The exhibition, which opened on 8 November 2018 at the COAC exhibition hall in Barcelona, ​​presented the figure and work of Bosch Aymerich within the set of 20th century architecture in our country. And it did so through four large sections: “large clients”, “corporate landscapes”, “leisure and tourism” and “social services”. The display was produced from a collection of models, plans, drawings and photographs selected from documents that the Bosch Aymerich Private Foundation ceded to the COAC Historical Archive.

The centre in Figueres displayed the section of leisure and tourism, which focuses on the central years of the work of Bosch Aymerich that coincide with the great explosion of the tourist industry in Spain.

These projects present a greater stylistic diversity and formal freedom. Projects full of optimism that include peculiarities and curiosities such as a large floating tourist complex with architecture clearly influenced by the utopian architectures of the Archigrams of the sixties.

Large tourist complexes were also revealed with interesting architectural complexes of organic growth and spatial deployment, especially on the Andalusian Costa del Sol, typical of the sixties and seventies, mixed with elements of Mediterranean vernacular architectures.

This space highlighted works such as:

  • Hotel Cap Sa Sal, Begur (1955-1963).

The topographic and massive nature of this architecture, in which Rubió i Tudurí worked as a landscaper and Josep Guinovart as a muralist, shows one of the clearest examples of the early tourist development in our country.

  • Masella, Pirineu de Girona, ski resort (1965-1967)
  • Chalets

Many of his family homes are second homes and some of the most successful examples of his architecture, to such an extent that some were included in the Docomomo Ibérico catalogue of modern architecture.

AN EXCEPTIONAL FIGURE IN THE ARCHITECTURAL PANORAMA OF THE 20TH CENTURY IN CATALONIA

Josep Maria Bosch Aymerich (1917-2015) was a brilliant student. He combined his studies in engineering and architecture - completed in record time - with his directorship of the Humet school for student reinforcement.

His achievements as a student allowed him to be a delegate for the National Institute of Industry in the United States, where he completed his training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and met the main figures of the modern movement.

In 1947, he returned to Barcelona as the technical director of the Zona Franca, where he played a key role in establishing the SEAT factory.

In 1953, he joined Frederic H. Harris - the American engineering giant responsible for oil installations in the Persian Gulf - and created Harris Bosch Aymerich SA, with whom he undertook works such as the motorway network of the Basque Country, the dock of the Port of Barcelona and the American bases.

He also founded companies and institutions such as the North American Study Institute and Banco Madrid.

Despite finding difficulties in achieving large commissions in Catalonia, he left notable buildings such as the Hotel Cap Sa Sal in Begur, the housing complex for Seat workers on the Paseo de la Zona Franca, the North American Study Institute on Via Augusta, the L'Aliança clinic and the head offices of the Hoechst chemical company on Travessera de Gràcia, all four in Barcelona. Moreover, some of the key projects of his career, such as a skyscraper in Plaça Catalunya, never saw the light due to the opposition of the local government.

As a developer, he pioneered the importation into Spain of the American model of extensive residential suburbs in sectors such as La Moraleja. He was also a key figure in the tourist development of the Spanish coast, especially southern Spain and the Catalan Pyrenees, where he founded the Masella ski resort. Until his death, his table was full of great projects, such as those of districts developed by him in Madrid, Manchester and London.