|Sumario:||The 20th century architectural heritage in Buenos Aires has already been briefly introduced through three preliminary reports, the Documentos de Trabajo #121: “Modern Movement heritage in Buenos Aires: 1929-2004”, #138: “Contemporary architectural heritage in Buenos Aires” and #161: “Buenos Aires architectural heritage: the first decades of the 20th century”. The present preliminary work is aimed at students and those interested in the current condition and in the rehabilitation work carried out on the built heritage of the first decades of the 20th century in Buenos Aires, and together with the Documentos de Trabajo #229 and #258 it completes the panorama of the interventions on the architectural heritage of the past century. The essays and itinerary included are by no means an attempt to cover all the work done but to introduce and evaluate those examples which, according to the authors’ perception are the clearest referents of the state of the art in the field. Our hope is that this introduction may encourage the readers to find their own cases of interest and thus make a closer approach to understanding and caring after our common built legacy.
In what concerns the architectural heritage of the first decades of the 20th century in Buenos Aires, it is huge, heterogeneous, remarkable and ever present in our city’s image1. A considerable number of those buildings have gone through preservation work, from customary maintenance to adaptive rehabilitations and even complex alterations. There is a lesson in each of the few examples introduced here, and perhaps, in thinking about them –and what happened to them- we could improve results in the future. We should certainly bear in mind the need to incorporate and enhance the city’s permanencies when introducing innovative changes in the existent buildings as a response to new demands, so that Buenos Aires may remain being itself, unique, as it has successfully been over the last century. The two essays that follow introduce interesting perspectives on the issue: the first, by Fernando Couturier, gives a critical appraisal of the different expressions and qualities of the architectural trends of the time, while the second, by Carolina Quiroga, offers an interesting approach to the architectural intervention criteria developed. The itinerary is based on a selection of the several examples detected and surveyed by our junior researchers. Thus, this work represents the conclusion of the first phase of a pioneering experience. Along the past five years –from 2007 on-, and parallel to the teaching and survey training work already started in 2004 with the History of Architecture course assistants with the aim of improving their teaching skills, we have been performing an experimental project to include research among the students’ interests. Therefore, the documentation survey and the register of the examples included in our current and former preliminary reports are part of the training in research activities conceived for a group of young assistants and former students, who have voluntarily joined efforts and enthusiastically devoted part of their scarce free time to contribute to this project. They have been performing their task with dedication and responsibility, and it is my belief that the experience may help them become better professionals and, those decided to join the faculty, better teachers. No doubt, the experience has enriched us all. To each and all of them the recognition and credits must be addressed.|