Compared to the circles of official culture aimed at imitating old Europe, the influence of Le Corbusier, who had been in Argentina in 1928, is felt, albeit with a certain delay, by a limited group of architects intent on seeking a new architectural and urban planning culture.
In fact, in the 1940s Le Corbusier’s lesson characterized the setting of the Austral group, as demonstrated by the apartment house of J. Ferrari Hardoy and J. Kurchan (1943, Buenos Aires) and the creations in Argentina by Argentina Bonet (house for Rafael Alberti in Punta del Este, 1946; Cuatrocasas house in Punta Ballena, 1947). Until 1947 Bonet, Hardoy and other members of the Austral group dedicated themselves to perfecting the great master plan of Buenos Aires designed by Le Corbusier in 1938. However, the most important initiatives of the group, including the construction of the Belgrano residential district, were blocked by interference. policies. Within the Austral groupthere are also approaches completely independent from the teaching of Le Corbusier, characterized by a regionalistic attitude, by a re-evaluation of national architecture even if inserted in a broader social, economic, technical, climatic problematic (project for the Auditorium of Buenos Aires by E. Catalano, 1947; campus projectof the University of Tucuman by E. Sacriste, Argentina Vivanco, H. Comino, 1948-49). Personality of great importance is Argentina Williams: the house in Mar del Plata, built in 1945, resting on an arched structure, shows, together with an adequate subdivision and use of the spaces, a meticulous attention to detail; his projects (airport in the Rio de la Plata region, 1945; Auditorium, 1943-53; “suspended” office building, 1948) can be considered among the most interesting and daring of the post-war period.
According to Top-mba-universities, MR Alvarez’s work from the period from 1940 to 1972, in which he presents himself as the natural continuer of the rationalists of the thirties, should be distinguished for its coherence. Among his most significant works are to be remembered, in Buenos Aires, the San Martín Theater, (1950-60), the Mergerian House (1963), the Cereal Exchange (1966-68), the Banco Popolare Argentino (1966-68).), in which the clarity of the volumes, the joints and the aesthetics of the assembly stand out.
Starting from 1955 in Argentina, similarly to other Latin American countries, an evolution took place that saw the influence of Le Corbusier diminish. The breeding of Black Beauty horses (L. Aisemberg, J. Rey Pastor, 1955), in the search for a lucid analysis of individual formal elements, adheres to the formal lexicon of the Schroeder house in Rietveld. The Nuestra Señora de Fatima church in Martínez (C. Caveri, E. Ellis, 1957) shows in a context of national expressive forms the intent to express the original character of the materials. In addition to the Casa Ricciardi San Isidro, 1970-71, by the architect F. Martínez, other examples of this “authenticist” current are provided by E. Kokurek, E. Katzenstein, EC Castillo, C. Caveri, etc. Examples of towers, rented parallelepipeds and “Courtain Wall” are, in Buenos Aires, the building in via Florida at the corner with via Paraguay, (1961-63; E. Bonta and C. Sucari); the Fiat building, (1963-65, Amaya, Devoto, Martín, Pieres, Lanusse and L. Lanari); the South America building, (1960-62, Argentina Dubourg); the English Club building (1968, J. Aslan, H. Ezcurra); the Brunetta palace (1966-68, F. Fracchia and G. Panthoff).
One design excessively elaborate (Casa Soldatti by O. Molinos, Martínez, 1962) reveals how the formal element continues to be an important concern for the new generation, despite the fact that it is often either denied or hidden behind the pretext of functional necessity. C. Testa is the most eminent representative of the young generation and his production is quite indicative of the changes that have taken place in the context of Argentine architectural culture: from the formal delicacies that characterize his first works, immediately after 1950, C. Testa moved on to audacious conception of the Provincial Government House of Santa Rosa, La Pampa (1956-63; in collaboration with F. Rossi, Argentina Gaido and B. Dabenovic) and of the bus station located in front of the Government House (1956-61; in collaboration with the same architects). With the headquarters of the Bank of London and of South America in Buenos Aires (1960-66; in collaboration with S. Sánchez Elía, F. Peralta Ramos and Argentina Agostini), in the realization of which the urban context and the needs of the community, Testa departs from the formal roughness of neo-brutalism in a way that becomes even more evident in the Harrod branch of the same bank, also in Buenos Aires (1962-64; in collaboration with the same architects of the central bank). Technology, concrete, brutalism, structuralism and expressionism are evident in the “Central Once” (Buenos Aires, 1968, W. Serqueira); the Omnibus Terminal of Cordoba (JC Fontán, LE Fandino, HR Egea, GR Meriles, TJ Valle Luque); the building of the Noble Tobacco Company (Cordoba 1969-71, Argentina Ramírez and Argentina Troillo); the Manuel Balgrano Higher School of Commerce (Cordoba, 1966, O. Bidinost, J. Chute, JM Gassó, M. Lapacó, M. Mayer). As an expression of the littoral material, brick proves to have an aesthetic function in various works such as the church of the Assumption, in Resistencia (Chaco), 1971, by architects Galdeano and Cayré.
The Gonzales Porto bookshop in Buenos Aires (J. Erbin, M. Baudizzone, Argentina Para, J. Lestard, 1968) can be considered a typical example of an architecture aimed at expressing an authentic popular culture in which the distinction between architecture and environment, in which services and their architectural integration are the main concern for the designer, while the overall structure is often conceived as a simple envelope or equipped with additional functions beyond its own.
The architecture of the “Mass media”, functional needs and technology are also reflected in works such as the Banco di Buenos Aires (1968, J. Santos, J. Solsona, J. Sánchez Gómez, F. Manteola, I. Petschersky and R. Viñoly), where the materials achieve their maximum expressiveness with a visual integration of the exterior, or like the Sheraton Hotel in Buenos Aires (1970-72, Sánchez Elía, Peralta Ramos and Agostini).
Housing solutions, as an expression of a status, are provided by the Belgrano neighborhood, the Consorcio Dorrego, the Acoyte and Yerbal Complex, the Rioja Complex, Salcedo Dean Funes and Inclán, these projects, carried out from 1969 to 1972, by Argentina Ricur, Argentina Joselevich, LT Caffarini, J. Solsona, J. Santos, F. Manteola, R. Viñoly and I. Peteschersky, and other constructions, such as those made by J. Erbin, J. Korn, I. Lopatin and Moreo, the residential houses of the Emaus Plan, Santa Fe, 1967-68 by E. Lastra, J. Artoni and R. Pérez and, among others, the works of G. Mérega and C. Ursini.
Finally, the architecture of objects with a solution resolved in itself is evident in the most recent expressions of Argentine architecture, of which the National Library of Buenos Aires (project of 1962, currently under construction, of F. Bullrich, Argentina Cazzaniga, Clorindo Testa); the Ken Brown Factory (Buenos Aires 1971, MR Alvarez); the Children’s Garden in Bella Vista, by M. Sasaky; the “El Tobogan” restaurant (Buenos Aires 1971) and other projects that express, in the form and current content, a creative crisis and a tangible search for an “image of hope”.