riba awards

Buenos Aires Ciudad Casa de Gobierno

Architect

Type

Built

2015

Location

Buenos Aires Ciudad Casa de Gobierno_PressImage_Nigel _Young_1

 

ARCHITECT: Foster + Partners
with Berdichevsky Cherny Arquitectos & Studio Minond 

CLIENT: CRIBA S.A.

AWARDS WON: RIBA Award for International Excellence


Originally a competition winning design for a bank headquarters the Ciudad Casa de Gobierno became the City Mayor’s office during the construction stage. To accommodate this shift the design changed very little and as an office building with a strong public front it performs its new role well. 

The story of how the occupants were moved here from several smaller substandard office buildings and how it became a flagship government office building and an example of work place culture and transparent, approachable government for Buenos Aires was related to the jury with shared enthusiasm. The choice of this area, itself an Argentinian version of an enterprise zone with incentives to attract business and money to the less well off south side of the city, has worked and the building has been a catalyst for more change in the area.  

The budget was relatively tight and the building is commendably simple as a result. The large undulating rhythm of the concrete canopy roof is visible from most of the tiered office spaces and from all the public areas. Offices are virtually all open plan and are generous and evidently decent places to work. This has been a major change in workplace culture for the staff and is seen as a success story to be repeated elsewhere.  

The building occupies 4/5 of a nearly rectangular site facing north across a park. It is bounded on either side by sloping residential streets and along the rear, south side by industrial buildings. As such it is a building which firmly faces in one direction, north across the park. The design is intended to be extendable southwards to add another 25% floorspace. 

The multilevel open plan interior dominated by clever circular light fittings hung from the curving concrete soffit is powerful but friendly and the sense of openness in the carrying out of local government business is clear. The building works well as intended.  

CONTRACTOR: CRIBA S.A.
STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS: CURUTCHET-DEL VILLAR INGENIEROS CIVILES
M&E ENGINEERS: ESTUDIO GRINBERG
COST CONSULTANT: CRIBA

Landscape Architects: Estudio Marta Carena
Lighting Design: Eli Sirlin
Interiors Adaptation: UPE DG MDU GCBA
Acoustic Engineers: Sanchez Quintana - Basso
Interior Design: Foster + Partners
Façade: Estudio Gigli
Interiors Adaptation: UPE DG MDU GCBA
 

COST: confidential
INTERNAL AREA: 34,702 SQM
2015

 

PHOTOGRAPHER: Nigel Young

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