Casa Curutchet Boulevard 53 N° 320.
La Plata 1900
Le Corbusier 1954
The most well-known piece of
modern architecture in Argentina is Casa Curutchet in La Plata, about one
hour south-east of Buenos Aires. Commissioned by an innovative surgeon, Pedro
Curutchet, this is the only residential building erected in the Americas
by Le Corbusier; however he never visited the site or met the client. The
program included the house and medical practice, with all rooms open to
the street taking into account the vistas of nearby parks.
Upon approach, the façade
appears as a series of shifting planes, differentiating functions and
separating space. Once passing through the framed entry on the open ground
floor, the visitor is met with a large vertical open space containing a
sweeping ramp. The ramp connects the ground floor to the rear living
quarters at the mid-way landing, and then switches back to the medical
quarters located at the front of the site. Further defining a visual
separation, Le Corbusier stipulated the planting of a poplar tree, now
mature, within this void between clinic and house.
The medical practice, supported
on pilotis with brise-soleils, bridges the full width of the site. The
clinic contains three clearly defined spaces; waiting room, examining room
and maid's room. Essentially housed in a cube to the rear of the site, the
living quarters contain a kitchen, dining room and double height living
room with glazing towards the park, further bringing nature inside. The
differentiation of space in the residential areas was to be defined by the
placement of furniture and slab projections according to Corbusier's free
plan. Three bedrooms and two bathrooms are on the upper floor, the master
bedroom overlooking the double-height living room through wood
The drama of the house, its play
between solid and void and concrete and nature is a wonderful example of
the principles of Modernism, incorporating pilotis, ribbon windows, roof
gardens, a free ground plan and free facades.
Now home to CAPBRA, Colegio de
Arquitectos de la Provincia de la Buenos Aires, the house is open to the
Serianne Worden 2004 (updated 2009)
How to visit
To get there from Buenos Aires,
take the Costera Criolla Bus to La Plata from inside the Retiro Bus
Terminal (one hour). It's a twenty-minute walk from there. From the bus
station, walk three blocks along Calle 42 (direction NE) to Avenida 1,
walk ten blocks (direction SE) to Calle 54. From the train station walk
along Avenida 1 (direction SE) for ten blocks to Calle 54.
This house is open to the public
from Monday to Friday 9am to 1pm. You may tour the house with a guide. The
house is not furnished.
$5.00 (pesos) for general public
$2.00 (pesos) for students and senior citizens. Wednesday is free.
To confirm opening hours and
charges please telephone +221 421 8032, fax + 221 482 2631 or visit www.capba.org.ar.
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