The architect Clorindo Testa (1923 – 2013) has become one of the most influential in the Argentina of the second half of the 20th century. Here he has left innumerable works of category. But perhaps the most emblematic is the headquarters of National Library of Argentina in Buenos Aires. A building in the Recoleta neighborhood that can be declared at the same time the most beautiful in the capital, or the most horrendous. According to taste.
National Library of Argentina
The truth is that the work has remained one of the icons of the artist's career, at the height of his project for the Bank of London, the one that made him in a prestigious architect, or the Centro Cultural Recoleta, a masterpiece of his eclecticism.
But despite the fact that theNational Libraryis his most famous work, the truth is that it is a very complex work. To start with their own development. It should be noted that Testa carried out a first project and won the competition for the building in 1961. However, the building was not started until 10 years later and it could not be inaugurated until 1992. And even so, it was not completely finished, since some parasols that were in the project are missing. Perhaps for this reason, this enormous mass of cement that seems to emerge on four pillars seems to be unfinished. And somehow it is.
Despite this, theThe functionality of the Library is indisputable, among other things, because it can clearly separate two areas. On the one hand, we must talk about what is seen, which is the public area. In other words, in the building visible from the square where the offices or reading rooms are located. In total, about 4,000 square meters. But the property in its entirety has 45,000. How? Because the vast majority are book stores, and all of that is underground.
From a stylistic point of view, the building has to be described as Brutalist architecture. A style inspired by the Swiss Le Corbusier, but from him it evolved towards increasingly bare buildings. Constructions that expose all their rough concrete structures, where there is no ornamentation, and everything is governed by hard geometric lines. Obviously they are forms with their peculiar beauty, but when it comes to buildings of enormous proportions, their appearance is sometimes excessively crude, which can mean vast or ugly following the translation of the Italian word. In short, the name of this style and the affiliation of the National Library to it is clear.