[FIRST LOOK+ PLANS] Foster + Partners has completed this new city hall in Buenos Aires, Argentina
The building by the UK’s largest practice was originally commissioned in 2010 as a new headquarters for the Banco Ciudad de Buenos Aires (see AJ 25.08.10). But the structure, which spans an entire city block in the Parque Patricios neighbourhood, was later taken over by the government and now houses the city’s mayor and 1,500 staff.
The scheme includes a series of terraced office floors arranged around a four-storey glazed atrium and features a 300-seat auditorium and a café arranged beneath a concrete barrel vaulted roof canopy.
The office floor plates are based around an 8m grid which allows for a large variety of layouts.
Norman Foster, founder of Foster + Partners, said: ‘Sustainability relates very strongly to local resources and climate, and Buenos Aires Ciudad Casa de Gobierno is a great demonstration of how architecture can work with nature via passive environmental means to naturally reduce energy use.
‘The roof extends like a canopy to provide shade, its flowing concrete structure is both symbolic as a civic building and functional in regulating temperatures. Shading louvres on the east and west protect the interior from direct glare, while courtyards allow sunlight into the heart of the building – in this way, its design is very much a response to place and climate.
‘The project has played a vital role in regenerating this former industrial quarter of the city.’