Not all works of architecture are a success. In fact, there is a term reserved especially for architectural creations that have proven simultaneously extravagant and wasteful: "White Elephants." One such work of architecture that received the ignominious title was a project in Villa Lugano, Buenos Aires. The building was to be the largest public hospital in Latin America but, after developers abandoned the project, it sat for decades in neglect and disrepair. Today, however, the compounds abuts a large public park and houses the Ministry of Housing and Development of Buenos Aires. How can we convert White Elephants into efficient and useful spaces? According to the Buenos Aires Secretary of Urban Development, the key is to focus on the human scale: The new Ministry of Housing and Human Development of Buenos Aires took over the structure that was to be a hospital specializing in tuberculosis but was left half-completed in 1955. After laying empty and neglected for 80 years, the building was transformed into a modernized government office sitting in a public park. After the demolition of the old structure, in 2018, the Villa Lugano project jump-started the urbanization and integration of the surrounding neighborhood by revamping the previously deteriorated space.
View moreView full description