Studio Work: Buenos Aires, Fall 2008

  • Work by Katie Finnegan, Fall 2008, Buenos Aires.
    Work by Katie Finnegan, Fall 2008, Buenos Aires.
  • Work by Katie Finnegan, Fall 2008, Buenos Aires.
    Work by Katie Finnegan, Fall 2008, Buenos Aires.
  • Work by Katie Finnegan, Fall 2008, Buenos Aires.
    Work by Katie Finnegan, Fall 2008, Buenos Aires.

Buenos Aires International Semester, Fall 2008

Adrian Luchini, Raymond E. Maritz Professor
Gerardo Caballero, Lecturer Abroad
Gustavo Cardon, Lecturer Abroad

This studio offers an opportunity to explore the diversity and contradiction of Buenos Aires and include it as material for design. Looking at the plan of the city, we imagine a homogeneous territory, one that suggests a repetitive, manmade fabric rarely altered by exceptional artifacts. But a photograph of any piece of this urban landscape reveals a much more complex urban condition that makes room for a variety of buildings, uses, and meanings, often juxtaposed in the most uninhibited ways. In this setting, architecture strives to overcome dichotomies between old and new, closed and open, vastness and enclosure, repetition and exception, and other dualities.

In Argentina, while each state organizes and manages the school system, the National Ministry of Education has increasingly become the source for educational content coordinators and continuing education for teachers of all educational levels, while also serving as a reference authority in monitoring and research. The Ministry also runs and produces content for an educational TV channel and has many internet services available for the general public.

The program for this studio is the design of an annex to the National Ministry of Education. The annex is intended to house the aforementioned functions of the Ministry; it must include ample classroom space and a very public library that is oriented toward periodicals and the growing multimedia materials produced by the Ministry. The site for the project, a lot located across the street from the Ministry, allows students to work with a series of urban conditions typical of Latin America cities: crowded pedestrian sidewalks, small and big squares inserted in the fabric, and low buildings next to tall ones.