This article was originally published on October 19, 2015. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.
The Bank of London and South America (Banco de Londres y América del Sud, or BLAS) in Buenos Aires defies convention and categorization, much like the architect primarily credited with its design, Clorindo Testa. A unique client relationship, guided by the bank’s staff architect Gerald Wakeham, and a supportive collaboration with the firm Sánchez Elía, Peralta Ramos and Agostini (SEPRA) resulted in a building that continues to evoke surprise and fascination.
Within the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Palermo in a park designed by the French landscape architect Charles Thays, the Parque 3 de Febrero (February 3rd Park) , sits the Galileo Galilei Planetarium. Inaugurated on December 20, 1966, it was born of the idea of human evolution and the need to show it in architecture. The building exists as an instrument or bridge between the scientific world and the citizens of the city of Buenos Aires.
Designed by Argentine architect Enrique Jan, the building establishes a relationship between astronomy and architecture through its shared components: mathematics and geometry. Thanks to its location and unique shape, it is currently one of the iconic images of the city and the scene of many scientific, cultural, and festive events.