Francisco Gonzalez de Canales, Nuria Alvarez Lombardero

In recent years, rapid socio-economic changes have given birth to unprecedented architectural assemblages in Buenos Aires. These changes are affecting the way in which the city is politically managed. Transformations and adaptations freely occur towards the inside and within the urban blocks. At the same time, the urban phenomenon as a whole is weakly united and managed by the generic and diffuses the urban grid. The unit’s work focused on exploring this reality, primarily through the design of a mixed-use city block in Buenos Aires. First, this block was inscribed in the 100x100m city grid. Next, different design explorations assessed the tension between the block and grid using radical programmatic mixtures, reversibility between inside and outside and interchanges between public and private domains. Doing this allowed the possibility of addressing the recurrent confrontation between the stability desired by governmental powers and the need for a change in economic processes. 

The structure of the academic year has been divided into three interrelated parts. Initially, students researched the socio-cultural and economic realities of Buenos Aires, processing different data through mapping, urban analysis and filling some material aspects of the city with content related to the programmatic brief of their blocks. From this a vast range of interests developed, including recent migration waves, food consumption, borders with slum areas, religious conflicts, political expressions and other aspects of daily life. In a second stage, students worked with different diagrams of spatial configuration to articulate a structure for this varied programmatic content that challenges relevant aspects of the block – such as inside/outside, public/private and programme/circulation relations. Common references were the analyses of Clorindo Testa’s National Library and the Bank of London 


in Buenos Aires, as well as recent block designs that were relevant to their interests. These examples furthered an exploration of different spatial relations for the students’ blocks. The most current stages of the design have been devoted to the transformation, adaptation and responsiveness of the block in relation to circulation, user activities or economic change. 



Francisco González de Canales

Nuria Alvarez Lombardero


In memory of Clorindo Testa


Workshop Tutors 

Ricardo Sosa Mejia 

Gerry Cruz


Special thanks to

Ciro Najle, Roberto Lombardi, Victoria Goldstein and Ignacio Ruiz Orrico in the Escuela de Arquitectura y Estudios Urbanos de la Universidad Torcuato di Tella

Thanks to our critics

Monia De Marchi

Pedro Font-Alba

Bruce Irwin

Peter Karl Becher

Barbara-Ann Campbell-Lange

Max Kahlen

Takako Hasegawa

Elif Erdine

Ciriaco Castro

Yota Adilenidou

Israel Nagore Setien

Pierandrea Angius

Miraj Ahmed

Martin Jameson

Arturo Revilla

Umberto Bellardi

Aldo Urbinati

Denis Lacej

Kostas Grigoriadis

Didier Faustino

Ryan Dillon

Douglas Spencer

Sebastian Andia

Nacho Martin

Manja van de Worp

Jorgen Tandberg

Jerry Tate

Martin Aldaco

Enriqueta Llabres

Rodrigo Chavez Tuñon

Shumi Bose