Centro Municipal del Distrito Sudoeste+ expand detail
Rosario, Province of Santa Fé, Argentina
53,000 square feet / 5,000 square meters
A community center and municipal office, the Centro Municipal de Distrito Sudoeste brings together city services and provides a new focus for a neighborhood once anchored by a steel mill. This civic complex includes administrative offices and public facilities for social, recreational, and cultural functions. All components are arranged around three open spaces: a garden, a plaza, and a park.
The design of the one-story complex is simple and austere. Generous eaves, banded windows and uninterrupted sills emphasize the building’s strong horizontal forms. While large gathering spaces announce the civic function of the building, its scale is human rather than grand. As a result, the one-story complex maintains a welcoming air.
Durable materials such as concrete, stone, and brick are unified by a minimal color palette. The eaves, roofs, columns, and much of the exterior walls are all painted white. Light-colored granite is used in the building and for the plaza. An undulating courtyard wall of light-colored brick adds a dynamic accent.
The plaza opens to the street and is the main entrance to the complex and all its components. Near the entrance, rising from a group of flowering trees, is a triangle-based obelisk. Similar in proportion and height to the three chimneys that remain from the steel mill across the street, the towering form marks the entrance, impacts a sense of monumentality to the low-rise structure and acknowledges the history of the site.
Administrative offices are arranged around the garden. At the center, a reflecting pool surrounds the civil wedding office. The double-height orange cylinder contrasts the stark white rectilinear surroundings. Inside, a skylight and a grid of small square windows illuminate the room, finished with slatted paneling in a light-colored wood. It is a memorable space for a celebratory occasion.
Around the plaza are offices for social, health, recreational, and cultural services. The main elevation of the plaza is defined by a double-height volume that houses a 300-seat auditorium and a gymnasium.
The park is a semi-wooded grassland, equipped with seating, tables, and athletic fields. The workshops and gymnasium also have direct access to the park.