From the Carles Fochs book Coderch 1913-1984 (courtesy of the author)
On the 25th of November the eldest of the eight children of the family of Coderch and de Sentmenat is born in Barcelona. At the time, Coderch's father was chief engineer of the Port of Barcelona; his mother, a de Sentmenat, was a person of extraordinary sensitivity, who took personal responsibility for her children's primary education.

Passes the entrance requirements for the course in Architecture in the Secció d'Exactes of the Facultat de Ciències in Barcelona.

Passes the first courses in the Escola Superior d'Arquitectura and goes on to take the course in copying ornamental motifs under the teacher who was to become his favourite, Josep Maria Jujol i Gibert, who had been a disciple of Antoni Gaudí i Cornet.


Spends three months working in Germany on questions relating to patents covering railway signals. Returns to Spain to take part in the Civil War with an officer's commission. In Málaga for a time for medical reasons, he meets his future wife, Ana María. The main features of his personality are consolidated during this period.


On the 27th of August, having completed the last remaining subjects of the 4th course, he passes the Final Examination, and is awarded the degree in Architecture from the Escola Oficial d'Arquitectura de Barcelona on the 2nd of November. Moves to Madrid to take up a post in the Dirección General de Arquitectrura, alongside Francisco Cabrero, Rafael de Aburto and Ricardo Abaurre. Works in the office of the architect Secundino Zuazo, who helps to impress on him that sense of responsibility and ethical rigour which was to be such a feature of his character.

Sets up in professional practice in Barcelona together with Manuel Valls i Vergés, starting on a phase, which lasts until 1949, dominated by the proliferation of small commissions for renovations and new buildings, the latter being for the most part weekend residences in Sitges (Barcelona), where Coderch holds the office of municipal architect until 1945. At the same time, he is commissioned by official bodies (the Obra Sindical del Hogar and the Instituto Social de la Marina) to work on subsidised housing projects for rural areas in need of reconstruction.

His marriage to Ana María Giménez marks the start of his own family, and the years that follow see the birth of four children: José Antonio, Ana María, Gustavo and Elvira.

Builds a house for himself in the Plaça de Calvó, in Barcelona, in which he sets up his office, and where he lives until the last years of his life, this being the ideal refuge for a reserved and somewhat distant personality, the so-called “architect of Sant Gervasi”.

On the occasion of the celebration of the V National Assembly of Architects in Barcelona, Coderch contributes, without much conviction, to an exhibition of recent architecture. The enthusiastic eulogy of the two Italian delegates, Gio Ponti and Alberto Sartoris, on seeing a modest photograph of the Garriga-Nogués house in Sitges, gives the young Coderch the definitive stimulus to commit himself to the defence of a new architecture.

As a member of Grup R, alongside Josep Maria Sostres, Antoni de Moragas and Oriol Bohigas and other young architects interested in the renewal of architecture, he participates in the first phase of its formation and public launch, although he is later to withdraw as a consequence of his disagreement with the line taken by the group. In addition to his commissions from the Instituto Social de la Marina in various coastal towns, he designs an apartment building in the Barceloneta which is to occupy a position of fundamental importance in his work as a whole.

He is commissioned by his friend, the engineer Eustaquio Ugalde, to build a holiday house in Caldes d'Estrac (Barcelona). The outcome of innumerable sketches, misgivings and modifications, this house is a milestone in his aesthetic evolution, revealing in embryo the most dearly cherished architectonic, formal and environmental themes of his subsequent work. The construction of the Pavilion representing Spain at the 9th Triennale di Milano signifies international recognition for his work: Gran Premio, Gold Medal and a number of new contacts, some of which are to develop into genuine friendships, as with Aldo van Eyck, Max Bill and Peter Harnden. Rafael Santos Torroella, with whom Coderch worked in putting up the Pavilion, is also to become one of his close friends, the two men sharing long evenings of confidences and silent companionship by the fireplace.

Designs a holiday house for himself in Caldes d'Estrac, although his financial situation does not allow him to go beyond laying the foundations.

The French magazine L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui publishes his essay “Points de vue sur la situation des jeunes architectes en Espagne”. Frank Lloyd Wright singles out Coderch as the most interesting architect in his country in a brief note of orientation for a friend visiting Europe.

He restores a little fisherman's house in Cadaqués (Girona), in which he is to spend his holidays. There he develops a liking for the sea, and becomes friendly with the local fishermen, as he does too with Marcel Duchamp, amongst other intellectuals and artists in the colony of foreigners.

Coderch is accepted as a member of the CIAM on Josep Lluís Sert's proposal, until its dissolution in 1960. A private consortium draws up the brief for a major hotel and apartment complex on the Costa Brava, the Torre Valentina project, which is to represent a great opportunity to research and apply new approaches to the second home, even although this is rejected after several months of intense effort.


As a consequence of the disappointment caused by the Torre Valentina project, and a temporary crisis in the construction industry, Coderch's office is at a standstill for almost a year. He is later to receive the Gold Medal of the Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes in recognition of the Torre Valentina project's interest from the point of view of its architecture, urban design and landscape architecture. The painter Antoni Tàpies commissions Coderch to design a house/studio in Barcelona, thus providing him with a definitive way out of this difficult situation. Member of Team X, together with Jacob B. Bakema, Aldo van Eyck, the Smithsons, Giancarlo De Carlo and Jerzy Soltan, among others continuing the spirit of the CIAM. Is awarded the Primer Premi, the first prize, FAD d'Arquitectura for the apartment building in compositor Johann Sebastian Bach street in Barcelona (designed in 1958).

The Italian magazine Domus publishes his manifesto “It is not geniuses we need now”.

The house-cum-studio for Antoni Tàpies is chosen for the FAD architecture awards. His design for a ceiling lamp had received the Premi Delta at the previous year's ADI/FAD awards. He gets to know the priest Josep Maria Ballarín and the teacher Raimon Galí, friends with whom he will in future share some of his intellectual and moral preoccupations. The university professor José Manuel Blecua is also to become an eager participant in the regular discussions in his house in the Plaça de Calvó.


Coderch renovates his ancestral house, in Espolla (Girona), built in the 16th century and recovered by the family after sixty years. He spends long periods in the house during the last years of his life, alternating between this and the house in Sant Gervasi, in Barcelona. Receives the premio Nacional de Diseño República Argentina for his wood veneer lamp. Receives the Premi Delta ADI/FAD for the Capilla sheet metal fireplace.


Starts teaching at the Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura de Barcelona, where his friend Josep Pratsmarsó also gives classes. In the course of four academic years he is successively responsible for 4th Year Projects, first assistant, then in charge of, then assistant once more on the 2nd year Elements of Composition course, at the same time as being a member of the Board of Examiners for Final Projects.

Designs the Girasol building in Madrid and the Trade buildings in Barcelona. His enthusiasm for photography, which for years had concentrated on architecture and people as its subjects, leads him to take an interest in bullfighting, which is to result in his bringing out the book Del Toreo in a limited edition in 1977.

On the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the Finnish Architects' Association, Coderch presents his address “Historia de unas castañuelas”.

The Trade buildings are chosen by FAD for the annual architecture awards.

Member of the United Nations' International Jury for a competition for social housing in Perú.

Fellow-elect of the Real Academia de las Bellas Artes de San Jorge of Barcelona. The Madrid-based magazine Arquitectura publishes his essay on the architect Secundino Zuazo.

Is awarded the Primer Premi FAD d'Arquitectura for the housing complex for the Banco Urquijo in the angle of Freixa and Modolell streets, with the Güell house in Lluçanès street in the Bonanova district, both in Barcelona, being shortlisted for the same prize.


The 'Las Cocheras' complex in the Sarrià neighbourhood of Barcelona is selected for the FAD exhibition. Thoughout this period Coderch is in regular contact with Joan Miró, Josep Lluís Sert, Eduardo Chillida and Richard J. Neutra.

The Institut Français building in Moià street, Barcelona, is selected by the FAD.

Gives the address on “Espiritualidad en la Arquitectura” on the occasion of his acceptance as a Fellow of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Jorge, in Barcelona.


A selection of work is included in the “Arquitectura catalana 1950-1977” exhibition in the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. The special jury of the Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura de Barcelona select Coderch to carry out the extension to the earlier university building. Antón Capitel's book J. A. Coderch: 1955-1976 is published by Xarait Ediciones, S.A., Madrid.

The 2nd Bienal de Arquitectura of Santiago de Chile features a special exhibition devoted to his work. Enric Soria's book Coderch de Sentmenat. Conversaciones, fundamental for any direct understanding of his thinking, is published by Editorial Blume, S.A., Barcelona.

The Spanish Ministry of Culture organises an exhibition to pay tribute to his work from 1947 to 1978.
The Saló del Tinell in Barcelona puts on the Ministerio de Cultura's exhibition “Coderch de Sentmenat” at the suggestion of the Escola d'Arquitectura del Vallès, the Col·legi Oficial d'Arquitectes and the City Council -the Ajuntament- of Barcelona.

On the 6th of November, in the silence of evening, Coderch's body is buried in the little cemetery of Espolla, Girona.