Photographs of the Construction of the Centro Municipal de Exposiciones, Buenos Aires. 1970
[Architecture]. Collection of Photographs of the Construction of the Centro Municipal de Exposiciones, Buenos Aires, 1970. 33 photographs, each 12 x 18 cm (4-7/8 x 7 in.); almost all with “Foto Rubens” studio stamp and manuscript ink notations of place and date, many photos faded and/or abraded, possibly effects of past humidification, fair.
The Centro Municipal de Exposiciones was constructed in 1970, originally intended to be a temporary pavilion for the “Francia ‘70” fair. Despite the shortcomings of the provisional architecture, it was maintained for more than thirty years, hosting innumerable art exhibitions (owing to its proximity to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and the Buenos Aires University’s School of Architecture), trade expositions, and concerts.
By 2010 the center and surrounding area had become the target of municipal planners looking to update the area, isolated by parking lots and bus depots. Following a competition beset by political scandal (the architect was on the government’s selection committee) a new convention center was designed to integrate two nearby public parks within a remodeled cultural and pedestrian zone.
The original structure was torn down and images and information about it are extremely scarce, despite the fact that it was a large-scale municipal project undertaken during the height of a modernist architecture boom in Argentina – one irrevocably tied to social agenda that collapsed during the 1980s and 90s.
The photographs are from the archives of an unidentified construction company responsible for building the exposition center. They follow the site during construction and document its context within the broader development of modern Buenos Aires.