Lima: The Latest Architecture and News
The Universidad de Lima, the most influential institution in Peru, is expanding its campus, in the heart of the capital, to offer a new learning experience, a never seen before novelty amongst the schools in Latin America.
The project’s main purpose is to create the whole college town, usually found abroad, in its central location in Lima. This innovative approach comes from the understanding of the importance of the concept of “university-cities” as a key economic driver. In fact, the master plan suggests making the campus as inclusive as possible, by putting in place all the facilities needed for students to actually linger.
As tends to occur in various Latin American capitals, the historical center of Lima —also known as Cercado de Lima— faces simultaneous processes of deterioration, conservation and transformation. Wandering through its streets, its neo-colonial and republican architecture mixes with some major architectural projects which came about during Peru's modernist movement: "golden age" of public architecture during the mid 20th century.
In 1947, the invasion of Agrupación Espacio, the remodeling Lima's Plaza de Armas and the widening of streets such as Tacna Avenue and Wilson Avenue kickstarted Peru's entrance into the modern movement. In Lima's historic center the works of Enrique Seoane Ros and Walter Weberhofer introduced a new formal and structural language to the streets, with projects that reveal the city's structural elements, functional designs, windows, terraces and commercial buildings, exemplified by an optimistic vision of the future. Despite initial reluctance, all of these projects were backed by a state that enthusiastically focused on planning for over two decades in the design of its cities and the construction of large neighborhood units, such as PREVI and the San Felipe Residential.
Architects Alejandra Acevedo and Michelle Llona explain that despite its undisputed legacy, the modernist movement in Peru is not legally protected. As authors of the important text CAMMP, the two aforementioned architects authored a book that informed the approach of this article. In this new addition to our Spanish-language guides of modern Latin American architecture, we present 16 historical projects from the historic center of Lima, complete with a map and suggestion for a 3-hour walking tour.
Warning: this article proposes a narrative according to the route taken from one side to the other of the wall, from the predictable to the most unpredictable. To better situate ourselves, the narrative will be told through my personal experience.
"Do you know the wall that divides the rich from the poor?," asked three Greek travelers who, after visiting the "pretty" side of Lima, suspected that something was hiding behind appearances. But, "how is it that from, even though you're from the other side of the world, you knew about the wall?" Well, news travels. And "why is this wall something that has to be seen in our city?" if it's not a cause for pride. I knew exactly what they were talking about. I spelled it out: the wall of shame. Certainly, I wasn't familiar with it in situ either, since I hadn't left my urban bubble, like many of those who live in these parts, so with the same curiosity, as a tourist of my own city, we made our way.
The architectural model: a tool, a sculptural artifact, a prized possession, and yet in the digital age of BIM and Virtual Reality, perhaps becoming an enigma, a relic for settling dust. And yet, we are still making them. If you imagine that famous photo of earth from space, of every model ever made in a single image, it raises the question - where are they all? Where does the architectural model go to die?
“When you read Love in the Time of Cholera you come to realize the magic realism of South America.” Yvonne Farrell, Shelley McNamara and I were in a corner of the Barbican Centre’s sprawling, shallow atrium talking about the subject of their most recent accolade, the Royal Institute of British Architects inaugural International Prize, awarded that previous evening. That same night the two Irish architects, who founded their practice in Dublin in the 1970s, also delivered a lecture on the Universidad de Ingeniería and Tecnologia (UTEC)—their “modern-day Machu Picchu” in Lima—to a packed audience in London’s Portland Place.
Farrell and McNamara, who together lead a team of twenty-five as Grafton Architects, are both powerful thinkers, considered conversationalists and unobtrusively groundbreaking designers. For a practice so compact, their international portfolio is exceptionally broad. The first phase of the UTEC in the Peruvian capital, which began following an international competition in 2011, represents the farthest territory the practice have geographically occupied. The project is, in their words, a “man-made cliff” between the Pacific and the mountains – on one side a cascading garden, and on the other a “shoulder” to the city cast from bare concrete.
Cities across the world are full of white elephants – something which ArchDaily has recently explored. In the latest episode of Section D, Monocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, the team examine similar cases from the unfinished Palestinian Parliament to redundant projects in Belgrade. This edition also looks at the RIBA's new International Prize, which was awarded this year to Grafton Architects for their University of Engineering and Technology building in Lima.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have revealed the Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC), located in Lima and designed by Dublin-based practice Grafton Architects, as the winner of the inaugural RIBA International Prize. A longlist of thirty projects, published in May of this year, was narrowed down to six in October before a grand jury—chaired by Richard Rogers—selected the scheme as "an exceptional example of civil architecture."
Earlier this week we covered the announcement of the winners of the expansion of the Lima Art Museum (MALI). The following 13 projects received honorable mention as according to the jury they "were essential during the deliberation process, for their originality, daring or because they helped shape the discussion."
The proposals came from a wide range of studios including Mexican firm Productora, a collaboration between Zaha Hadid and David Mutal, Campo Baeza and Llosa Cortegana amongst them. Continue below for the 13 projects in detail.
The Lima Art Museum (MALI) announces the launch of an open competition for the design of its new contemporary art wing. The project will include new gallery spaces, a library, classrooms, workshops, a café, a public plaza, access to a future metro station, and a landscape proposal for the park where the museum is located. Our goal is to establish the MALI as a new civic and cultural platform in the city, as well as a referent for future competitions regarding the design of public spaces in Lima.