The Bisman gallery has dedicated its first exhibition on classics of the Modern Movement to this building, which hosts its premises. It has done so with the collaboration of the Open Centre of Architecture, with material from the Archive of the Architects’ Association, that includes the Bonet Castellana archive. A total of 10 plans, 13 photographs, as well as written documentation (basically structural calculations) have been provided. The exhibition “You are here. House of studios for artists: an Ibero-American manifesto” will be open to the public from December 10 to February 24.
The architect Antonio Bonet Castellana (Barcelona, 1913-1989), after training in Josep Lluís Sert and Josep Torres Clavé’s studio and influenced by the GATCPAC’s ideas, went to Paris, where he collaborated in the construction of the historic Pavilion of the Spanish Republic in 1937, where Pablo Picasso presented the Guernica in order to warn against the barbarism and terror of war. Working in Le Corbusier’s studio, he became acquainted with the Argentines Jorge Ferrari Hardoy and Juan Kurchan, who encouraged him to move to the booming Buenos Aires of the 30s, to design and build his first work alongside Ricardo Vera Barros and Abel López: the House of Studios for Artists, a building from 1939 which would quickly become a standard, a true Ibero-American manifesto.
The building was put into service in 1939 and is one of the most characteristic of the entire Modern Movement: we are talking about seven apartments for artists located on the corner between Suipacha and Paraguay Streets in the Argentine capital, which constitute a whole manifesto: double-height spaces almost without compartments, pleasant and spacious, with perfect areas for artists to meet and work together in a spirit similar to that of GATCPAC.