Urban Strategies for the Retiro Area, Buenos Aires, Argentina

The studio will test the relevance of urbanism, landscape and urban design approaches to a particular area in Buenos Aires City. Specifically, the studio will investigate the generation of new strategies for urban transformation in the Retiro area, characterized by the superposition of large urban infrastructure systems (existing, under construction and planned such as the major overseas shipping port of the country, large train systems terminals and high speed highways) that are greatly affecting its urban conditions and creating unexplored opportunities in the adjacencies of one of the most recognized metropolitan "villas de emergencia"(the Argentine counterparts of the Brazilian "favelas"): la Villa 31. The aim is to define alternative forms of thinking, conceiving and designing urban strategies that could present opportunities for arresting some of the physical and social erosion and the environmental stress that characterize this area.

The concrete goal is to develop alternative paths of intervention and design visions that might be useful in future planning policies and also to be the frameworks for the future GSD two studios in urban and architecture design.  The intention is that students’ research and critical analyses result in the design of urban strategies that address the in-between or intermediate areas that surround and cut through the 'villa,' the existing infrastructure and the formal city, generating new, richer and viable forms of urbanity. In turn, the occasion should also serve to rethink the city’s existing ‘formal’ public urban order, aiding in the search for alternative operations and strategies that could transform the area into places of broader socio-territorial transformation.

The studio will aim to identify new typologies of urban components in order to explore how existing or potential conditions might generate new spatial, ecological, social and economic mechanisms for the development, articulation and integration of both the multiplicity of components of the Retiro Area itself, and of this sector with the rest of the city.

Daniel Becker and/or Flavio Janches will be in residence on August 29, 30, September 1, 20, 22, 25, October 13, 18, 20, 25, November 8, 9, 15, 17, 22.