Clorindo Testa


1923 - 2013

Born in Naples, Clorindo Testa moved to Buenos Aires when he was only one year old. Although he maintained his ties with Italy, he always considered himself Argentinian; in fact, his relationship with the capital was so tight that some even called him ‘the architect of Buenos Aires.’ And this may well be true, because it was in this city that he studied architecture, that he trained as a professional at Equipo Austral – in charge of the city’s Plan Regulador (urban plan) throughout the 1950s, inspired by Le Corbusier – and that he built his most important works, from the fine Banco de Londres (1959), which was an unexpected and early adaptation to brutalism in the Latin American context, to the no less brutalist Biblioteca Nacional (1962-1995) – which took thirty years to be completed, due to the recurring crises –, until his later works, already tinged with an abundant chromatism, such as the Centro Cultural de la Recoleta (1979). During all these years, Testa made compatible his architectural activity with that of painter, to which many attribute his progressive formal freedom, but where others see the root his postmodern experiments.

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