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Modern Movement: The Latest Architecture and News

A Guide to Modern Architecture in Lima, Peru: 16 Projects to Visit

14:00 - 21 April, 2018
A Guide to Modern Architecture in Lima, Peru: 16 Projects to Visit, Lima Civic Centre (1966-1970). Image © Nicolás Valencia
Lima Civic Centre (1966-1970). Image © Nicolás Valencia

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.

La Nacional Building / Enrique Seoane Ros (1947-1948). Image © Nicolás Valencia Ministry of Education / Enrique Seoane Ros (1951-1956). Image © Nicolás Valencia El Sol Insurance Building /  Enrique Seoane Ros (1956-1958). Image © Nicolás Valencia Lima Civic Centre (1966-1970). Image © Nicolás Valencia + 33

A Guide to Santiago's Modern Architecture: 20 Projects You Need to Know About

16:00 - 11 March, 2018
A Guide to Santiago's Modern Architecture: 20 Projects You Need to Know About, Villa Olímpica / Rodolfo Bravo + Jorge Poblete + Ricardo Carvallo + Pablo Hegedus, Julio Mardones + Gonzalo Mardones + Sergio González. Image © María González
Villa Olímpica / Rodolfo Bravo + Jorge Poblete + Ricardo Carvallo + Pablo Hegedus, Julio Mardones + Gonzalo Mardones + Sergio González. Image © María González

The modern movement was a key player in the cultural construction of Chile in the 20th century. Although the first projects came from the private sector, their urban and landscape principles were adopted by the modernizing project of the welfare state that began to be built after the social conflicts that exploded in the 1920s.

During chile's industrialization process, the State's housing construction incorporated concepts such as liveability, and universal access to housing and sanitation, which were put to the test early on in the reconstruction of cities such as Chillán after the 1939 earthquake. As Chile is a country that is familiar with earthquakes, it was necessary to readjust the concepts of the modern movement to national structural requirements, that is, resizing the reinforced concrete sections, which gave them a heavier visual expression than in Brazil or Argentina.

From the daring vision of Sergio Larraín García-Moreno and Jorge Arteaga in the Oberpaur building - the first of the modern movement - to the urban visions of BVCH in the Villa Portales, or the first exercises in height in the upper middle class sectors, the modern movement has left its mark on our society and in our cities. However, only one of the projects presented here is declared a historical monument.

In this edition of the architectural guides, we present you twenty chronologically ordered projects that reflect the evolution of the modern movement in Santiago, Chile.

República Remodelling / Vicente Bruna + Germán Wijnant + Víctor Calvo + Jaime Perelman + Orlando Sepúlveda. Image © María González Villa Olímpica / Rodolfo Bravo + Jorge Poblete + Ricardo Carvallo + Pablo Hegedus, Julio Mardones + Gonzalo Mardones + Sergio González. Image © María González CEPAL / Emilio Duhart. Image © María González Portales Neighbourhood Unit / BVCH. Image © María González + 19