Latin America Revised
The veteran professor at Madrid’s School of Architecture and specialist in Spanish architecture and urbanism, Carlos Sambricio, began the 21st century by indulging in a new passion, Latin America, participating in the book Arquitectura de la ciudad de La Habana. Primera modernidad (2000). Now he has edited this analysis of urban development and social housing programs carried out in 1930-1960 in Buenos Aires, Bogotá, Santiago, Mexico City, Havana and Caracas. Each country – Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Cuba and Venezuela – is covered in two chapters assigned to a given author: one addressing the city itself and the other discussing the mass residential projects undertaken by the State. For this he gathered the region’s most prestigious specialists: Alicia Novick and Rosa Aboy from Argentina, Nabil Bonduki from Brazil, Fernando Pérez Oyarzún from Chile, Enrique X. de Anda Alanís from Mexico and Manuel Antonio López Villa from Venezuela. He also called in young researchers from Latin American universities. In these times of crisis and radical revision of architecture and urbanism, after the heyday of economic squandering and aesthetic inebriation, the book’s importance lies in presenting the progressive nature of Latin American housing solutions, which anticipated similar projects carried out in postwar Europe. It also shows the paradoxes of a process that did not go by the usual canons, some developments having been projects of authoritarian regimes.