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Proa Art Center
Buenos Aires, Argentina

program
Extension and complete redesign of the Foundation building.

size
2270 sqm 

status completed 2008

The Fundacion Proa for Contemporary Art is located in La Boca, an ancient "barrio" in Buenos Aires, facing the first historical Harbour of the city and one of the last "transbordador" bridges of the world.The Art Center takes the place of three old mixed use buildings (commercial at ground floor, residential at first floor) built in the late 1890s. As always when introducing new functions in historical context, the dialogue between conservation and innovation is the fil-rouge and the moment of choosing the elements of continuity and discontinuity is the most delicate.The main theme of this project was to design only one "house" for the istitution building, one floor higher than the previous three buildings, without destroying the urban quality of the waterfront with an out of scale intervention. For sure the quality of the waterfront was given by the alternance of different facades deriving from the original urban lots design and we chose to give continuity to this character. The central building, in italianate "classical" style, had a beautiful white facade, while the two buildings aside had less formal design and suffered much bigger trasformations in the course of time.
We thought that conserving the original historical facade in the central building and designing contemporary transparent facades for the lateral buildings would have given us the conservation of the previous alternating rythm, but also the "unity" that the new istitution required.
This individuation of the original urban lots through facades continues also in the interior where we re-built the disrupted buildings conserving the different planimetric characters: the central lot has an interesting triangular shape, the left side lot has a peculiar "banana" shape, while the right side lot has a more regular trapezium shape.
The continuity of physical perception of this tripartition, of the orygin of the lots even inside a unit like the new Art Center was our goal and the best "manifesto" of how we think necessary to operate inside an historical context for new needs.

Proa Art Center
Buenos Aires, Argentina

program
Extension and complete redesign of the Foundation building.

size
2270 sqm 

status completed 2008

The Fundacion Proa for Contemporary Art is located in La Boca, an ancient "barrio" in Buenos Aires, facing the first historical Harbour of the city and one of the last "transbordador" bridges of the world.The Art Center takes the place of three old mixed use buildings (commercial at ground floor, residential at first floor) built in the late 1890s. As always when introducing new functions in historical context, the dialogue between conservation and innovation is the fil-rouge and the moment of choosing the elements of continuity and discontinuity is the most delicate.The main theme of this project was to design only one "house" for the istitution building, one floor higher than the previous three buildings, without destroying the urban quality of the waterfront with an out of scale intervention. For sure the quality of the waterfront was given by the alternance of different facades deriving from the original urban lots design and we chose to give continuity to this character. The central building, in italianate "classical" style, had a beautiful white facade, while the two buildings aside had less formal design and suffered much bigger trasformations in the course of time.
We thought that conserving the original historical facade in the central building and designing contemporary transparent facades for the lateral buildings would have given us the conservation of the previous alternating rythm, but also the "unity" that the new istitution required.
This individuation of the original urban lots through facades continues also in the interior where we re-built the disrupted buildings conserving the different planimetric characters: the central lot has an interesting triangular shape, the left side lot has a peculiar "banana" shape, while the right side lot has a more regular trapezium shape.
The continuity of physical perception of this tripartition, of the orygin of the lots even inside a unit like the new Art Center was our goal and the best "manifesto" of how we think necessary to operate inside an historical context for new needs.