Track 3: Conservation of modern and post-modern heritage
The Casa de Estudios para Artistas/Ateliers (Study House for Artists) is located at the heart of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was designed by Antonio Bonet (1913-1989) one of the most renowned modernist architects in the city, whose body of work was highly influenced by the time he worked with Le Corbusier during his years in Paris.
The quality and high value of the Casa de Artistas by Bonet lies as much on its form, its architectural development and materials, as it does in the building’s program and its function: a building, first in its class, that resulted in the addition of a new typology to the City’s building stock.
The ground floor – fully dedicated to retail – defies the linear character of the street front, endowing a particular rhythm to the public space. The upper levels are designed based on an independent structure combining cast iron and concrete vaults that generate the double-height spaces dedicated to the ateliers.
The configuration of the façade displays the modernist challenge posed by the architect inserted in a predominantly academic style background that reflects on the atractive and playful display of the glass enclosures that bring along a hint of industrial character.
The work of Antonio Bonet and the Grupo Austral in this particular case, embodies a new, pure architecture that aims to abandon the academic standard of the times. An architecture that finds its resources in the use of new, synthetic materials, along with an innovative dry construction system applied to the exterior enclosure. The application of these new techniques in the Buenos Aires of 1939 resulted in an impressive aesthetic contribution to the city’s predominantly academic downtown area.
The Casa de Estudio para Artistas was designated National Historic Monument by the Preservation Office of the Government of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires In the year of 2002, achieving the highest level of structural protection due to the high value of the building’s design and its construction innovation.
This presentation will focus on the research, intervention, and preservation technologies spearheaded in 2017 by the city’s General Direction for Urban Regeneration (DGRU) an agency of the Ministry of Environment and Public Spaces (MAYEP) to maintain and preserve this exponent of modern architecture through the restoration of the building´s singular envelope and the restoration of the ground floor.
These preservation efforts were awarded the 2018 National Prize to the best intervention on built heritage of the City by the CICOP (International Center for the Conservation of Heritage) and the Architects Central Association (SCA Sociedad Central de Arquitectos)