April 30 2013

Best in Heritage Conservation: Awards by the Argentinean Architects Association

Built Environment professionals, myself included, tend to focus on the latest trends concerning sustainability, smart growth, and recent technologies for construction.

Many times we end up relegating historical preservation and everything concerning Built Heritage Conservation as a métier only for experienced professionals, who embark on these projects as a way of closing their careers, as part of a well-established portfolio of previous and more traditional types of projects.

In other words, we don’t see restoration or conservation as often as we see office parks or condos.

But all of that is changing and increasingly more professionals are involving themselves with the massive work that helps to extend a building’s useful life, and several incentives have been created to promote this.

Here in Argentina the Central Society of Architects and the Network of International Centres for the Conservation of Architectural Heritage recently recognized outstanding work in restoration by creating the National Award for Best Architectural Heritage Intervention.

'Blue' Room of the Argentine National Congress

The six public and private projects from Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Santa Fe, below, were awarded first place, under the categories of restoration, recycling, and urban scale value:

New 'Usina del Arte' Building in Buenos Aires

The jury’s assessment focused on rewarding work that solidly established a restoration methodology through both materials and concept. In addition, it took into account the emotional dimension of strong works with testimonial value treated with great simplicity, seeking to preserve for future generations the footsteps of the past.

It is exciting to realize that there are opportunities for preserving the built heritage of our country, and to see this trend also growing in places outside Europe (traditionally the ones concerned with this matter). It is also a major requirement considering the housing deficit experienced in Latin America. Recovering our built past can be a way of reassuring our future.

Is Built Heritage a priority for architects in your country? What buildings would you save in your city?

Credits: Data and images linked to sources.

Luis Lozano-Paredes

Luis Lozano-Paredes is currently a student seeking a Diploma of Architecture and Urban Planning at Belgrano University in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Born in Colombia in 1987, he grew between the cities of Bogotá and Santiago de Cali, and then moved to Argentina in 2006. There, he finished the Common Basic Cycle of Architecture, Design, and Urbanism at the University of Buenos Aires before pursuing studies in Landscape Design at the same Institution. Inspired by the Urban Transformation of Bogotá in the past decades, his interests evolved from Landscape Architecture to his current passion; Urban Planning, Policy Making, and Sustainable Development. He plans to continue his studies in Urban Planning and Sustainability in Canada, Chile, or the U.S.; but for the moment he currently works as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center of Metropolitan Transport Studies of the University of Buenos Aires and is a Member of the Observatory of Urban Sustainability at Belgrano University. Luis’ main interests lay within the study of Smart Cities, Urban Sustainable Development, and Social Architecture in Latin America.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 at 9:45 am and is filed under Architecture, Environmental Design, History/Preservation, Urban Development/Real Estate. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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