Tower in Puerto Madero+
The way I see it, building a tower presents three architectural problems. One has more to do with the sculptural, with the objectual character that the tower takes on as it becomes a reference in the urban landscape. The problem of structure, traditionally much reflected on, is in my opinion relegated to a more instrumental plane, although in no way does it cease to be important.
The two more interesting issues are program and the treatment of the ground in its connection with the building. Both can be tackled in urban terms—this would be the most convenient approach—and hence they take on a significance and a stature that free them from a purely objectual treatment, from the “who builds the strangest object” contest that is so common nowadays.
In the case that concerns us here, because of the specifics of the program—apartments, hotel, recreational spaces, and services—we can take the tower as a continuation of the public space that the street-boulevard is. This idea led us to treat the lower levels as something rich and complex, not just programmatically but also spatially and formally. These lower floors are the first link in a chain of public uses that unfold from level to level as the building rises. Between the apartments on the lower floors and the hotel taking up the topmost levels is a public foyer with restaurants and other services. At the top of the tower, more restaurants, swimming pools, and other facilities form the third link in the chain of public uses that, starting at ground level and continuing up the entire height of the tower, presents the built volume not as something detached from urban reality, nor as an object that’s been dumped on the edge of the scene, regarded only with indifference, but rather as a system that continues the street upwards.
Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina