November 05 2013

The New Face of Buenos Aires’ Palermo District: SoHo, Hollywood & More

Promoted by the ANSeS, the Presidency of the Republic of Argentina, and organized by the Central Society of Architects, what will emerge from the recent contest to redevelop a former railroad installation located in the Palermo district?

Palermo previous intervention, Buenos Aires

Not long ago, the Palermo district ended at the Juan B. Justo Avenue, a virtual boundary reinforced by a brick viaduct and the old train tracks. In recent years, however, a gentrifying process began as famous artists recycled houses and used them as new ateliers, or workshops. Other bars and designer shops then arrived and the whole area became fashionable and one of its sub-zones, the most glamorous, was renamed ‘Palermo SoHo.’

Another sub-district, named ‘Palermo Hollywood,’ intersects Juan B. Justo Avenue and has brought television producers and channels, that together with new bars and restaurants, has also transformed this area into another ‘hip’ part of town.

The metamorphosis of this area in recent years suggests that the transformation of this avenue needs to be more than just another boundary between SoHo and Hollywood ‘Palermos,’ but a green hub that organizes and enhances two neighborhoods of great vitality, with the imperative of linking the west of the city with its great metropolitan parks.

Railway intervention project, Buenos Aires

The winning project of the urban design idea contest, from Architects Mario Jorge Boscoboinik and Iribarne, allocates only 25% of the land for housing construction. These buildings will be of varying heights with a commercial base. The proposal is to make towers of no more than seventeen floors (those which have already been built on the other side, in Palermo Hollywood, are over forty floors). And to the side of the Godoy Cruz Street build on a smaller scale, about four levels, maintaining consistency with existing landscape features.

Project for the future park, Buenos Aires

But the most important part of the urban planning project is to leave 75% of the space free in order to create a large linear park with sculptures.

What is not clear though, is for whom the park is for? Will it be for the residents of the new buildings? Or is a metropolitan-scale park that would be part of a new axis joining Juan B. Justo Avenue, New Park, and Palermo Woods – a Hyde Park for Buenos Aires?

In the rise of placemaking and small urbanism, is this a real alternative for any city? Or are the days of grand urban projects over?

Credits: Images by Luis Lozano-Paredes and linked to sources. Data 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, November 5th, 2013 at 9:42 am and is filed under Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Luis Lozano-Paredes, Urban Development/Real Estate, Urban Planning and Design. 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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