Argentina Architecture 3

Argentina Architecture

With the advent of the seventies we are witnessing on the one hand the consolidation of previous experiences, in the work of architects such as MR Alvarez, exponent of the national trend and author of notable projects over the last 30 years, C. Testa and others; on the other hand, to a greater availability to new approaches in the work of the protagonists of the younger generations. The dominant opinion reflects the abandonment of all dogmatism and the adoption of open positions that almost always lead to eclecticism.

There are numerous objections to cultural dependence which encourages the adoption of somehow international models and poetics. All this already lives in some settings of groups operating in the 1950s (movement of the ” white houses ”) and later sanctioned by the activity of the CEPA (Centro de Estudios y Proyectation del Ambiente), founded by R. Pesci in La Plata in 1974, and of the CAYC (Centro de Arte Y Comunicacion) directed by J. Glusberg. Despite these oppositions, the reference to international models prevails in Argentine architectural culture, re-proposing their practices, methods and formal trends.

The anti-rationalist reaction, which began in the 1950s, is concentrated in the 1970s in various formalisms: a geometricizing symbolic formalism as in the Teatro Argentina in La Plata by E. Barés, Germani, C. Ucar, Argentina Sbarra, T. Garcia, in which the materialization of the orthogonal-diagonal plot of the urban layout is evident, so that the guiding motif of the project is an assumed relationship with the city, in its internal-external relations; or a somewhat playful and unscrupulous formalism, an example of which can be found in the Soppelsa ice cream parlors in Cordoba, designed in 1977 by Gramatica, Guerrero, Morini, Rampulla, Urtubey: a building intended as a path, intended for the sale of ice cream and a drive- in, where passersby and cars can live together.

The most extreme tendency is proposed by M. Gandelsonas, who tends to discover the logic of forms and their interrelationships in the work. It is a highly rational logic that results in an abstraction from both the instrumental and the symbolic function.

In this trend we can mention, in addition to the works of Gandelsonas himself, those of H. Korn and I. Lopatin (Avenida de Mayo, 1981; via S. Pedrito, 1980); those of the STAFF studio; the project for the Teatro di Salta by F. Casiraghi, R. Cassina, R. Frangella, 1981; the mining village in Rio Zurbio, 1976; the SHA Country Club, 1979; in addition, the activity of the studio MAP Baudizzone, Argentina Diaz, JR Erbin, JH Lestard, AJ Varas, in whose works the starting geometric matrix based on clear principles is evident: single volume, simple facade, symmetry (project for the Auditorium of the city of Buenos Aires; the Altman and Diaz house, from 1975-76; the Santa Fé residential complex, 1978-79, where the typical internal courtyards of the traditional public houses of Buenos Aires are proposed: conventillos).

This approach is sometimes followed by studies of architects of the middle generation, alternating it with less pure versions, that is, impregnated with reasons such as historical, cultural or typological continuity. This is the case of the study F. Manteola, J. Sánchez Gómez, J. Santos, JJ Solsona, R. Viñoly, which owes its international fame to a series of eight banks designed for the BCBA (City Bank of Buenos Aires), between 1967 and 1972, made of glass blocks. At the forefront of urban planning and housing of social interest, they design settlements such as those of San Isidoro, Ranelagh, the neighborhoods of Luis Puedrabuena, Aluar (1974-78), in which they carry on the idea of ​​creating neighborhoods minors within the main complex, redeeming the public space contained, where there are those minimum conditions of exchange that define a social space. An important realization of the study is the ATC complex (Argentina Televisora ​​Color), from 1977, in Buenos Aires, which qualifies the surrounding urban fabric, characterizes it with its quality as a public square, as a diagonal platform with an inclined plane in an eminently horizontal landscape. For Argentina 2014, please check

The problem of the relationship with the past, of the study of history and its re-evaluation as a ” project tool ”, has been tackled since 1959, with the birth of the IDEHA (Istituto de Estudios de Historia de l’Arquitectura). In 1978 the Argentine Institute of Investigations in History of Architecture was born, founded by R. Gutierrez, Argentina de Paula, F. Ortiz, G. Viñulez, M. Waisman and others, for the study and conservation of the Hispanic architectural heritage -American, carrying out an intense study, restoration, protection and propaganda work of the same.

In this context we can mention two important works of recent years: the Cultural Center of Buenos Aires by J. Bedel, LF Benedit, C. Testa, and the intervention of MA Roca in the center of Cordoba. But it must be emphasized that these works are not in line with the most up-to-date culture of restoration: all the interventions are far from the preservation of the pre-eminent historical and / or artistic interest. The Cultural Center of Buenos Aires proposes a new complex opposing the pre-existing eighteenth-century building, without taking into account the value of the ancient building fabric. The original structures are highlighted, moving back the facades and the added volumes. In Cordoba the operation is extended to the whole center, where Roca articulates new places and buildings assuming to obtain an integrated urban whole; intervenes with the

This is the case of the Plaza de Armas, in front of the Cathedral and the Carbildo, where it creates a spacious square, projecting the essential outlines and characters of the monuments to the ground to remind them of their existence, and unifies the irregular succession of facades with trees, pergolas and benches. Roca also intervened in the suburbs with the design of three squares, with a series of cultural centers and with the restructuring of the banks of the Suquia river that crosses the city. It operates in the context of urban redesign with transformation interventions, such as in cultural or multifunctional centers in former markets, making traditional and new typologies coincide. In the San Vicente market he leaves the envelope intact, articulating the interiors with light and very colorful structures; in that of General Paz he works on the iron structure of the 19th century. only with a cleaning, leaving intact the façade and the internal spatiality: around sinuous mirrored wings they reflect and multiply the image of the flexible space that results. Operations, all of these, which have nothing to do with the protection of historic centers. In any case, in anti-rationalist experimentation, formalism prevails rather than confrontation with history.

Argentina Architecture 3